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The Brexit vote illustrates what can happen when people feel their job opportunities are suffering due to liberalized trade policies. If we want open migration and trade policies, we need to focus on domestic job losses.
In India, the price of onions is an election issue, so ubiquitous are they in the nation’s cooking. Regularly, around the world, poor consumers face extra hardship as the prices of basic foodstuffs seesaw. Global food security is an area CGD has worked on for many years, and back in mid-2008, we tried to help figure out a solution to the skyrocketing price of a major staple.
The release of leaked documents from negotiations of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) captured news headlines last week, but the materials tell us little that we didn’t already know. The documents mainly confirmed that scant progress has been made. I’ve already gone on record as skeptical that negotiators will secure a TTIP deal, even in principle, this year. So instead I want to offer two suggestions as talks move forward.
There has been an unfortunate tendency in this year’s US presidential campaign to make trade policy an “us against them” story. It is true that the US government does not do enough to compensate those who lose from trade, or to help individuals and industries adjust to the changes that more open markets bring. But rhetoric pitting poor people in the United States against even poorer people elsewhere helps neither.
EU Trade Minister Cecilia Malstrom has been in Washington, meeting with US Trade Representative Michael Froman and trying to give the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) negotiations a nudge. Developing countries are watching closely and assessing the potential implications for exports to what are the two largest markets for many of them.
In the 2000s, Côte d’Ivoire plunged into a decade of political violence. In September 2002 the Forces Nouvelles de Côte d’Ivoire (FNCI), a coalition of three rebel movements, occupied the northern half of the national territory (Figure 1).
There are now reports that the parties to the Trans-Pacific Partnership will formally sign the deal on February 4 in New Zealand, and President Obama is expected to make a push for congressional ratification in his State of the Union address.
Trade ministers, while attending the World Trade Organization (WTO) meeting in Nairobi, again managed to pull a rabbit out of the hat. Faced with the prospect of complete failure, ministers worked overtime to cobble together a package of mostly small, symbolic agreements at the WTO’s Tenth Ministerial Conference. While the outcome is not being greeted with the same dismay, Nairobi looks more like the Copenhagen summit on climate change than the recent session in Paris, which managed to bridge North-South differences.
The newly released Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) text reveals that US trade negotiators have finally caught up with the IMF and others on the question capital controls. Unfortunately, by allowing for appropriate uses of controls on “hot money,” the TPP may have created new enemies within the powerful US financial services lobby, further jeopardizing political support for the agreement.