With rigorous economic research and practical policy solutions, we focus on the issues and institutions that are critical to global development. Explore our core themes and topics to learn more about our work.
In timely and incisive analysis, our experts parse the latest development news and devise practical solutions to new and emerging challenges. Our events convene the top thinkers and doers in global development.
Yet another Bangladesh garment factory tragedy is making headlines. Last November more than 100 workers died in the Tazreen factory fire, some of them because factory managers blocked doors and told them to ignore the fire alarms going off.
The next Director-General of the World Trade Organization (WTO) will be the first from Latin America and just the second from a developing country. Ambassador Bashir of Pakistan announced on Friday that Roberto Azevedo from Brazil and Herminio Blanco from Mexico will advance to the final round of consultations while Mari Pangestu from Indonesia, Taeho Bark from Korea, and Tim Groser from New Zealand withdrew.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Charles Dunne, Director of MENA Programs at Freedom House, posted a timely op-ed in Huffington Post over the weekend calling for preemptive contract sanctions against the Assad regime in Syria. Charles' piece came on the heels of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) meeting in New York, where countless speeches, meetings and behind-the-scen