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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.

 

The Next WTO Director-General Will Be from the Asia-Pacific Region or Latin America

So the initial round of results are in and there were some surprises. Early this month, odds makers in the United Kingdom and Ireland had Mr. Kyerematen, from Ghana, and Ms. Gonzalez, from Costa Rica, as the favorites to become the next director-general of the World Trade Organization, but both are out after the first round of consultations. The next round of consultations will begin next week, and the final two should be announced by the end of the month.

From March Madness to April Anxiety: The WTO Leadership Contest Heats Up

The madness of the US NCAA basketball championship  is in full swing and getting lots of attention in Washinton, but a globally more significant competition is entering the final stages in Geneva. Just as 68 US college basketball teams were winnowed to a sweet sixteen, and soon to an elite eight, and so on, nine candidates for director-general (DG) of the World Trade Organization (WTO) will soon be trimmed to a fab five, then a dynamic duo, and, by May 31, a champion to lead the world trade system.

A New WTO Leader: Will It Matter for Development?

While the World Trade Organization is not normally seen as a development organization, a strong, rules-based trade system is still critically important for developing countries, and the WTO is at the center of that system. Later this year, the organization will select a new leader to succeed Pascal Lamy and the expectation is that the person will be from a developing country.

Trade and Worker Rights in Bangladesh: Forget the Twig and Use the Giant Carrot

Earlier today, the US Trade Representative issued a call for comments on a petition to withdraw, suspend, or reduce Bangladesh’s benefits under the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) over its failure to improve labor rights. There is no question that working conditions in Bangladesh’s garment factories are abysmal and that efforts to organize workers to protect themselves are suppressed.

When Trade Negotiations Block Good Policy: What Is the US Trade Rep Thinking?

Virtually all the footwear that Americans buy is imported, and those shoes are taxed at an average rate of 10 percent—eight times higher than the average for all imports. This “policy” is a relic of an earlier age that poses an unjustified burden for poor American consumers, who spend a higher share of their incomes on highly taxed shoe and clothing imports than do richer Americans.

Attn Bob Schieffer: Three Serious Questions to Throw Obama and Romney Off Kilter

From Big Bird to malarkey to binders full of women, it’s been quite the presidential debate series (there was also that whole dramatic shift in the momentum of the race thing).

On Monday, we’ll hear from President Obama and Governor Romney for 1.5 Bob Schieffer-moderated hours on foreign policy. The topics have already been announced, and while it’s possible some development-related questions could come up (mostly likely under the basket of America’s role in the world), the odds aren’t great. Regardless, here are three questions that I’d like to hear the candidates answer.

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