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Views from the Center

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An Uncertain Future for U.S. Trade Preferences Programs

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.

Three Seoul Sleepers and a Damp Squib

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.

More HOPE, and HELP, for Haiti, but Congress Still Holds Back

Nearly four months after the earthquake that devastated Haiti, and after receiving a letter from former Presidents William Clinton and George W. Bush, the U.S. Congress seems prepared to expand access for Haitian apparel exports with the Haiti Economic Lift Program (HELP) Act. This is important because apparel is one of the few sectors, outside of construction, that can quickly create formal sector jobs for thousands of desperate Haitians, particularly women.