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Views from the Center

CGD experts offer ideas and analysis to improve international development policy. Also check out our Global Health blog and US Development Policy blog.

 

Do the Leaked TTIP Docs Signal It’s Time to Change Course?

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.

Trade Is Not "Us against Them"

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.

US Trade Policy on the Move, Or Is It?

In honor of Japanese Prime Minister Abe’s recent visit to Washington, I thought I would try to distill my thoughts about the recent flurry of trade activity into a haiku:

TTIP, stuck on red?
TPP, waiting for what?
AGOA moving?

Okay, so I’m no poet. And the acronyms might make my verse a little hard to follow for the non-trade wonks in CGD’s audience. Here’s a brief translation.

Mega-Regional Trade Agreements: Boon or Bane for Developing Countries?

The United States is negotiating trade and investment partnership agreements that would cover more than half of global trade if successful: the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) with the European Union and the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). Chile, Malaysia, Mexico, Peru, and Vietnam are part of TPP, along with Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, and Singapore. But most developing countries, and all of the poorest and most vulnerable, are on the outside looking in.