Issue 78 | Oct. 27, 2016
TPP aligns with U.S. values, protects human rights
 
The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) has the opportunity to give unprecedented labor rights to workers around the world, contends Jackie Sturm, vice president of Technology and Manufacturing at Intel. Emphasizing provisions in the trade agreement, such as child labor laws and improved standards for working conditions and health conditions, Sturm calls TPP an economic and moral "win-win." Sturm also notes that TPP could quadruple the number of people outside of the United States who are protected by new, enforceable labor regulations, a situation where both business priorities and values align. Read more.
 
Singapore prime minister warns on American retreat from Asia
 
As ratification of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) stalls, prime minister of Singapore, Lee Hsien Loong, warns that failure to ratify the 12-country trade deal would be a "big blow" for U.S. standing in Asia. In his remarks, Loong argues that the trade deal can deepen U.S. relations with the Asian region, and warns that backing away from the TPP deal will jeopardize trust in the U.S. The polarizing trade deal, which currently awaits ratification from Congress, is opposed by both major U.S. candidates for president, and has slim chances of receiving Congressional approval at this juncture. Read more.
 
Friends of free trade need to stand up and fight
 
As free trade deals like the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) and the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) face popular backlash across Europe, friends of free trade need to make their voices heard, argues Dalibor Rohac, a research fellow at the American Enterprise Institute. While support for these deals have decreased in places like Germany and Austria, a majority of EU citizens still support the passage of these deals. Rohac notes that civil society should campaign and discuss the benefits and negatives of trade deals, but the current discussions are too one-sided against free trade. Those who support free trade need to "stand up for their cause." Read more.
 
Belgian region sticks to firm 'Non' on Canada trade deal
 
The Belgian region of Wallonia's rejection of amendments for the planned EU-Canada trade deal (CETA) has the potential to undermine the entire trade agreement. Intended to be a flagship deal for EU's trade policy, failure to come to an agreement would damage the EU's credibility to forge future trade deals. Wallonia's lawmakers have shared concerns that CETA may "risk watering down consumer, labor and environmental protections." Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is expected to be present at the EU-Canada summit on Oct. 27, where CETA is intended to be signed. Read more.
 
A post-debate defense of NAFTA
 
The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) has become a "political football," according to former U.S. diplomat Dr. Crook-Castan. Defending NAFTA, Crook-Castan argues that the rest of the world is "envious of what we have achieved in North America." He cites 66 percent increases in U.S. exports to Canada and Mexico, and millions of U.S. jobs supported by trade between these countries in the first five years of NAFTA. Crook-Castan notes that the agreement is most helpful during poor economic times by maintaining lower tariffs and market access for the U.S. He also argues that NAFTA is not a "zero-sum game," but a case of mutual benefit that allows all three countries to increase competiveness and job creation. Read more
 
Chinese premier expects early conclusion of China-U.S. BIT talks
 
Chinese Premier Li Keqiang has called for efforts to conclude the bilateral investment treaty (BIT) negotiations between China and the U.S., which began in 2008. Recent meetings between Premier Keqiang and former Secretary of Treasury Henry Paulson have yielded positive results. This deal is the first time that China has adopted a pre-establishment national treatment (PENT) approach, which gives foreign investors and their investments the same level of favorable treatment as domestic businesses. Read more.
 
Rethinking Global Value Chains
Nov. 16, 2016
 
Join the Global Initiatives Council for the last session of the year as we examine the economic impact of global value chains. RSVP Here.
Compiled by Global Interns Krishna Babla and Mellina Silver.

For more information, contact Jasmin Sakai-Gonzalez, 213.580.7569.