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This is a joint post with Kaci Farrell.
Here we are in the final days of a congressional session, so it must be time to extend whichever trade preference programs are set to expire. This year, the 111th Congress must act (soon!) to extend the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) program and the Andean Trade Promotion and Drug Eradication Act (ATPDEA). Important parts of the Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) program, which provides benefits and services to American workers who lose their jobs due to trade, is also set to expire at the end of 2010.
Earlier this week, New York Times columnist Nick Kristof commented on the dire situation in Haiti, nearly one year after the catastrophic earthquake.
In addition to noting the immediate needs of medical workers and cholera patients, Kristof aptly recognized that trade preference programs are a critical investment in Haiti’s long-term, sustainable development.
Perhaps predictably, media coverage of the G-20 Seoul Summit focused on the currency wars, and assessments of impact of the meeting were decidedly mixed (though, interestingly, more negative in the United States than in the big emerging markets). But global imbalances were hardly the only item on the agenda. Three summit documents have the potential to become more important with the passage of time, especially if the development community seizes upon them as opportunities to press the big economies for pro-development policies and spreads the word.
As President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama perhaps enjoyed their in-flight Bollywood entertainment and tandoori chicken en route to Mumbai, the world around them was a buzz about whom the President and First Lady will meet, what they will wear, and what this trip will
There actually seems to be hope that next week’s G20 summit will move beyond the tired mantra to finish the Doha Round and give a push to the Millennium Declaration commitment to provide duty-free, quota-free market access for the world’s poorest countries. This is an opportunity to contribute to job creation and growth when the global economy is still fragile. Furthermore, it would have minimal impact on importing countries since the least-developed countries account for around 1 percent of global trade.
Finally!! After years of debating changes to rules of origin to make it easier for developing countries, especially the least-developed among them, to export duty-free under preference programs, the European Union is finally set to act at the end of this month.
This is a joint post with Kaci Farrell.
Later this month, world leaders will meet at the UN in New York City to discuss accomplishments and challenges to meeting the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by the 2015 target. While their discussions will cover a range of topics and strategies, summit participants should remember the importance of trade as a development tool.
Trade preference programs can encourage investment, promote prosperity and ultimately reduce poverty in the world’s least developed countries.
The ever-vigilant Chris Blattman drew attention yesterday to Ethiopia’s currency devaluation. What was surprising and interesting about this move is that the devaluation was not undertaken under the usual duress of “macroeconomic adjustment.” Typically, in Africa, macroeconomic and foreign exchange crises have been the trigger for devaluation.
This is a joint post with Ben Leo.
It’s the season for trade talks with Africa again. The annual AGOA Forum, which opens today, is one of those ideas that sound terrific: assemble all of the relevant U.S. and African policymakers to discuss ways of generating greater commerce. Last year the forum was in Nairobi; this year it’s two days in Washington and then three days in Kansas City (consistent with the administration’s food security focus).