Archive for May, 2007

R.I.P. Trade Promotion Authority

Tuesday, May 29th, 2007

Trade promotion authority (TPA) - formerly known as fast-track negotiating authority - is set to expire on June 30, 2007. As a result, the Bush Administration and business interests are now lobbying Congress for its renewal. However, there are strong reasons to not just let TPA temporarily lapse, but also to permanently bury it. (more…)

Beyond Red and Blue

Friday, May 18th, 2007

It is widely recognized that the debacle in Iraq has contributed importantly to disenchantment with the Bush administration and Republican Party. However, less recognized is the potential long-term political impact of Iraq, which has opened the door to moving beyond the red state – blue state division that has marked US politics for the past generation. That in turn could create a lasting progressive majority. (more…)

Globalization Lock-in: What Should Be Done?

Monday, May 14th, 2007

“Lock-in” is a concept developed by economic historians to describe how economies get tied in to using inefficient technologies. It also applies to institutions as economies and societies can get locked into sub-optimal institutional arrangements. This has relevance for globalization where the arrangements governing trade and the global economy may be sub-optimal, posing problems of how to change them. The economics of lock-in helps understand the problem and suggests how to solve it. (more…)

US – China Trade: Pay Now or Pay More Later

Sunday, May 6th, 2007

After several years of patient negotiation, the US appears embarked on a harder stance in dealing with its China trade deficit. In Congress there is talk of veto-proof legislation addressing China’s under-valuation of its currency, while the Bush Administration has imposed tariffs on coated paper products to offset Chinese subsidies. Behind this shift is a dawning recognition that China is unwilling to reduce its surplus, and that reduces the policy choice to one of “pay now or pay more later”. (more…)