5 Items

A clerk checks her smartphone near a display advertising domestically produced Chinese beef and lamb at a supermarket in Beijing, May 12, 2017. A new trade deal with the U.S. could help feed China's growing appetite for beef and increase natural gas imports but will likely make only a negligible dent in the U.S. trade deficit. (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein)

(AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein)

Analysis & Opinions - Peterson Institute for International Economics

Five Reasons Why the Focus on Trade Deficits Is Misleading

| March 2018

President Trump has asserted that trade balances are a key measure of a nation’s commercial success and that large US trade deficits prove that past trade approaches have been flawed. But trade deficits are not in fact a good measure of how well a country is doing with respect to its trade policies. Many of the assumptions on which the administration’s beliefs rest are not supported by the evidence. This Policy Brief argues that trade deficits are not necessarily bad, do not necessarily cost jobs or reduce growth, and are not a measure of whether foreign trade policies or agreements with other countries are fair or unfair. Efforts to use trade policy and agreements to reduce either bilateral or overall trade deficits are also unlikely to produce the effects the administration claims they will and instead lead to friction with US trading partners, harming the people the policies claim to help.

UN Conference on Climate Change (COP 21) in Paris, France, November 30, 2015.

Creative Commons

Analysis & Opinions - The Boston Globe

What the WTO Can Learn from Paris Climate Talks

| December 7, 2015

"For many years, negotiators at the annual conferences of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change looked longingly at how the World Trade Organization was able to negotiate effective international agreements. Ironically, the Paris climate talks that are scheduled to conclude on Friday and the WTO negotiations, which will take place next week in Nairobi, lead to the opposite conclusion. Trade negotiators should emulate the progress made in the climate change agreements by moving away from a simplistic division between developed and developing countries."

Analysis & Opinions - Miami Herald

As Other Nations Prosper, So Will the United States

| April 14, 2013

"In the decades ahead, firms in developing countries could well become more formidable competitors for U.S. exporters, but by and large these pressures are not yet present in our export markets. This does not mean that import competition has not been disruptive. But America is strong enough to adapt and take advantage of that rising tide of prosperity in the developing economies that, as President Kennedy said in 1962, lifts all boats"

Discussion Paper

How Good Politics Results in Bad Policy: The Case of Biofuel Mandates

| September 2010

This paper argues that the growing list of concerns about the impact of biofuel targets and mandates are the predictable result of a failure to follow the basic principles of good policy-making. Good policy-making requires developing a policy goal or target (i.e., reducing greenhouse gas emissions, reducing oil consumption, or increasing rural economic development) and designing an instrument to efficiently meet that particular goal. The more precise the goal, the better. In addition, for each target, there should be at least one policy instrument. You cannot meet two goals with only one instrument. This paper argues that the current U.S. biofuels mandates do not represent the most efficient or precise instrument to meet any of the policy's stated goals.

Report - Harvard Kennedy School

Implications of a Future Global Biofuels Market for Economic Development and International Trade

| June 5, 2007

Summary report from a joint ENRP/Sustainablity Science Program workshop convening experts from academia, international institutions, government, and the private sector to explore possible implications of emerging global biofuels markets for economic development and international trade.