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Perhaps the most surprising was how similar these scenes playing out in America are to those I’ve seen in Africa. To be sure, many of the factories I visited in Africa were smaller-scale and simpler in their operations than the Ohio glass plant in American Factory. But some Chinese-owned factories in Africa are similarly large-scale and technologically advanced, and no matter the size of the factory, I witnessed many of the same struggles to find cross-cultural understanding, to teach workers genuinely difficult skills, and to withstand the pressure of a highly competitive, global industry.
The World Development Report 2020 released on Wednesday highlights the economic benefits from GVCs and reminds us that protectionism and policy uncertainty around the world is now putting many of these benefits at significant risk.
Prime Minister Theresa May's recent speech in Cape Town may herald an inspiring new Africa-UK development partnership—but only if she can put that vision into action. Ian Mitchell and Hannah Timmis offer lessons from China, France, and the EU.
As at countless events on sub-Saharan Africa’s economy over the past two weeks, discussions at Harvard University’s “Africa Development Conference”—where I delivered a keynote address—were animated by the signing of the Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA) agreement by 44 sub-Saharan African countries two days before.
Beware the zombies, ghouls, ghosts, and vampires that will flood streets across the country this Halloween Friday. Of course they’re mostly just children in costume with one thing on their minds: candy. And lots of it.
This is shaping up to be a big year for US trade policy. Most eyes are on potential deals with the Pacific Rim and Europe (and reeling from Senator Reid’s latest blow to their prospects). Those of us concerned with trade as a driver for development should also be watching Congress’ and the Obama Administration’s review of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA).
The Brookings Institution’s Africa Growth Initiative, in conjunction with the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, recently released an important report on possibilities for renewing the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA). The report uses a standard trade model to explore the impact of various scenarios. It has the imprimatur of two prestigious institutions and was launched at a high-profile event with US Trade Representative Michael Froman as featured speaker, so it could be an important contribution to the debate over the future of AGOA.
Just as the United States is looking to tighten sanctions on the vicious regime of Bashar Assad in Syria, there is quiet momentum building to remove sanctions against another brutal dictator, Zimbabwe’s Robert Mugabe. But arguments in favor of easing pressure on his ruling ZANU-PF at this time are flawed. In fact, removing sanctions now would arguably make matters worse for Zimbabweans’ hopes for a full return to democracy.