"Like the president he now serves, Anton doesn't understand how the global trading order actually works. Trade agreements are long and complicated today because they are no longer primarily concerned with reducing tariffs (which are already quite low). Instead, contemporary trade agreements are mostly about harmonizing labor, regulatory, environmental, and copyright standards across many different societies, precisely for the purpose of creating fairer competition between states. Agreements of this kind are very much in America's interest, because otherwise U.S. workers would have to compete with foreign industries where labor and environmental standards are much lower than they are in the United States."
A seminar with Björn Rother, Advisor and Chief of Strategy and Partnership Unit, Middle East and Central Asia Department, International Monetary Fund. Third session of the fall 2015 study group led by MEI Visiting Scholar Hedi Larbi, Rewriting the Arab Social Contract: Toward Inclusive Development and Politics in the Arab World.
Four years after the Arab Spring, many countries in the region are still struggling to achieve higher and more inclusive growth and improved standards of living. This talk will take stock of past economic development policies in the region, review the progress made with reform efforts and the underlying political economy, and discuss the key challenges that continue to affect economic development.
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Björn Rother is an Advisor and Chief of the Strategy and Partnership Unit of the Middle East & Central Asia Department at the International Monetary Fund in Washington, D.C. and Author of “The Determinants of Currency Crises: A Political Economy Approach.” His interests include frameworks in support of economic transitions and of inclusive, sustainable growth. He worked previously as a consultant with Mckinsey & Company Inc., and holds a Doctorate in Economics from the Free University of Berlin.