Third Way Perspectives
Archive for the ‘Economic Program’ Category
May 8th, 2013
When America debated the North American Free Trade Agreement in 1993, Groundhog Day – a film about doing the same things over and over – was a box office hit. Since then, our trade debates have often been like Groundhog Day, with trade supporters and critics repeatedly recycling well-worn talking points. But before everyone dusts off old scripts for upcoming debates about trade deals with Asia and Europe, it’s worthwhile to consider what America might learn from more recent trade developments – especially those currently happening outside the United States.
Three trends in global trade highlight why it’s more vital than ever that America continue to play a strong role in writing robust rules for trade.
1. America’s Not the Only Game in Town. As America works to conclude a Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal and to ramp up new trade talks with the European Union, it’s important to remember that other major economies are also pursuing a bevy of new trade deals.
There are already hundreds of trade agreements in force among groups of countries that don’t include the United States, with many more under negotiation. The EU, for example, is negotiating agreements with Canada, India and Japan. And China, Japan and South Korea have begun talks on a pact that would boost trade among the world’s second-, fourth- and twelfth-largest economies. These three countries – together with 13 regional neighbors – are also negotiating a massive Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership that would tie together 16 countries with a combined GDP of over $26 trillion.
For the United States, the implications of growing trend are clear – if we don’t continue to engage in developing new norms for global trade, global competitors like China surely will.
April 10th, 2013
By Rep. Ami Bera and Ed Gerwin
Need a better job? Want a more fulfilling career?
In today’s digital world, social networks such as LinkedIn are vital for professional success. A strong network of friends and colleagues can break down barriers and open doors, and it is often the surest way to find a job, land business and build a career.
In the global economy, networking is critical for countries too. By linking economies and reducing impediments to commerce, trade agreements can boost economic growth, open up business opportunities and support better jobs for workers.
When America networks on trade, we succeed. More than 45 percent of U.S. goods exports go to the 20 countries with which we have trade agreements, including Canada and Mexico, our biggest export partners. And our trade with these partners tends to be more balanced. In recent years, America has had trade surpluses in manufactured goods and services with our trade agreement partners.
But America still has considerable trade networking to do, especially in forging stronger links with the fast-growing economies in East Asia — a region that will add over a billion new middle-class consumers in the next decade and import an estimated $10 trillion in 2020 alone.
March 27th, 2013
This piece was originally published on GE’s “Idea’s Lab” website.
Japan’s recent announcement that it’s seeking to join the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade negotiations has created quite a stir in trade circles.
Adding Japan and its $4 trillion economy to the TPP talks would substantially boost the economic and political importance of any eventual trade deal and create major new export opportunities for the United States and the 10 other TPP countries. But, as Third Way noted in a recent letter to Congressional trade leaders, TPP negotiators also face a huge challenge in assuring that Japan’s strong tradition of shielding its farm, manufacturing, and services sectors doesn’t derail the goal of creating a truly comprehensive, high-standard agreement that broadly opens up Asia-Pacific trade.
Seemingly lost in all the recent buzz about Japan is another important TPP development–the admission of Canada and Mexico to the TPP talks last fall. This less-heralded development is highly significant, particularly for the United States and our producers and workers.
But why? Isn’t the United States already linked to Canada and Mexico under NAFTA? How would the TPP improve things?
March 15th, 2013
When it comes to sports–and trade–there’s no substitute for being there.
Earlier this month, I attended the very last regular season Big East men’s basketball game between Georgetown and Syracuse. I’m sure that ESPN’s wall-to-wall broadcast of the game was spectacular in all its HD glory. But nothing can beat actually being there–hearing the chants, watching legends like Patrick Ewing high five the fans, and seeing subtleties in the game that television simply can’t capture.
I recently had a similar experience when I traveled to New Zealand to talk about the trade opportunities in the Asia-Pacific and, specifically, the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade negotiations. After over 25 meetings with government officials, negotiators, trade thinkers, and business representatives, I returned home with a much fuller and more nuanced appreciation of the opportunities and challenges for trade in the greater East Asian region.
In particular, four things stood out in my discussions with resident experts and thoughtful observers in the region:
March 11th, 2013
President Obama and his Republican dining companions showed last week that bipartisan schmoozing is back. Whether bipartisan deal-making will follow is anyone’s guess. But if it does, there are reasons to believe tax reform will be on the menu.
The most visible movement on tax reform is in the House of Representatives. Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) last week announced that the bill name “H.R. 1” would be reserved for tax reform. Traditionally, House speakers have given that title to bills that are among their top priorities. Consider some of the recent bills with that name: the stimulus package of 2009 and the Medicare prescription drug law of 2003.
The H.R. 1 designation signals the end of an internal Republican dispute over whether to proceed with tax reform. Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-OH) previously advised the party to avoid the issue, because its progress could require votes on controversial topics like the mortgage and charitable deductions. But now, with Boehner’s blessing, House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp (R-MI) has a green light to pursue his priority issue.