Third Way Perspectives
Archive for the ‘International’ Category
May 6th, 2013
Israel carried out several limited strikes in Syria over the weekend, raising the possibility of an expanded Syrian civil war. Here’s how to talk about it:
1. Israel was responding to a real, imminent danger to its security.
U.S. and Israeli sources indicated the Israelis late last week struck a shipment of sophisticated, Iranian-built Fateh-110 missiles bound for the Lebanese terror group Hizbollah. The Syrians also claimed Israel hit the Jamraya military complex outside of Damascus this weekend, which U.S. officials say is Syria’s chemical weapons development center.
If Hizbollah obtained the Fateh-110 missile, the terror group would then be able to accurately deliver a half-ton warhead with a range of 185 miles, which could strike almost all of Israel’s major cities and military bases. Israelis living in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, and other population centers would find themselves in Hizbollah’s crosshairs. These missiles could travel father and hit a target much more accurately than anything currently in Hizbollah’s arsenal. This was a real, imminent danger to Israel, and its leaders acted to mitigate the threat.
Given the serious threat these weapons pose to Israel’s civilian population, we should stand with Israel in its efforts to blunt the threat from Hizbollah.
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?
February 20th, 2013
This piece was originally published in U.S. News & World Report.
In his most recent State of the Union, President Obama touted the fact that American companies like Apple, Ford, and Intel are bringing manufacturing operations back to the United States. This key trend will support good American jobs—while strengthening the manufacturing and innovation ecosystem that’s a vital source of America’s global competitiveness.
Where things are “made” is crucial. But as America pursues important new trade deals in Asia and Europe, it’s also critical that we secure more “value” from our trade.
The iPhone in my pocket was “made” in China. When it was imported into the United States, it was treated by U.S. Customs as a 100 percent Chinese product, and it added somewhere around $230 to America’s $315 billion trade deficit with China.
May 7th, 2012
This piece was originally posted on Politico.
The wages of austerity is death. Political death.
That’s the lesson of Europe — conveyed most recently by the defeat of French President Nicolas Sarkozy. He’s the first French president defeated for reelection in more than 30 years.
In Greece, which also held elections Sunday, the old regime just collapsed. The two governing parties that negotiated Greece’s painful bailout deal saw their support fall by more than half. Who gained? Protest parties of the far left and the far right — including a neo-Nazi party.
What the extremes had in common was opposition to the Greek bailout deal, which imposes tax hikes and wage cuts on a country where unemployment is more than 20 percent.
In 2011 and 2012, governments have been thrown out of power in Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain and now France and Greece. Britain’s coalition government also experienced disastrous losses in local elections last week.
Eleven European countries are now in recession — including Britain, Spain, Italy, Greece and the Netherlands. The unemployment rate in the 17-nation Euro zone is now 10.9 percent. In Spain and Greece, a majority of young workers are jobless. Read the rest of this entry »
April 5th, 2012
This piece was originally posted in The Hill.
Good ideas–ideas that work–should transcend ideological and partisan differences.
For almost 80 years, the Export-Import Bank of the United States has been one such good idea, enjoying broad bipartisan support while effectively promoting job-creating American exports. But the Ex-Im Bank’s work will grind to a halt within weeks without a new authorization. And, without a long-term reauthorization, the Bank’s mission would be seriously undermined, creating great uncertainty for U.S. exporters and their workers.
Rep. Rick Larsen, (D-Wash.), (one of the authors) and Rep. Don Manzullo, (R-Ill.), have introduced the Export-Import Bank Reauthorization Act of 2012 which would extend the Bank’s authority through 2015 and raise the borrowing authority to $140 billion.
Why should we care? First, the Ex-Im Bank is a self-supporting entity that actually turns an $800 million annual profit for the government. Second, and more important, the Bank supports U.S. exports, and exports have played an increasingly important role in driving stronger American economic growth and much-needed jobs.