October 21, 2013 | By

Fixing Trade Policy Post-Shutdown

We are just over a week away from the “Frontiers of Economic Integration” conference in Chicago. We will be fortunate to welcome a number of leading trade policy voices from around the world. As much as we can, we hope to feature their work and provide a public forum for discussion here on the blog.

I wanted to kick things off by highlighting the recent work of two participants. Both based in Washington, Dan Ikenson and Claude Barfield are responding to the turbulent recent weeks in US trade policy. Trade was not center stage in the DC fight over the debt limit and government funding, but it was heavily impacted. I make some arguments about the serious implications for advancing trade agreements, particularly the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), over at Foreign Policy.

Dan Ikenson will offer his TPP thoughts at the conference next week. In the meantime, he last week provided a “Roadmap for Success” for the US negotiations with Europe, the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership. He emphasizes the need to develop a realistic set of goals for the negotiation and to try for a series of three agreements, rather than a single grand bargain.

Claude Barfield says it is crucial, in the wake of the Washington tumult, for the Obama administration to turn full attention to concluding the TPP. He puts this argument in the broader context of US relations with Asia. At the conference, Claude will be demonstrating another facet of his expertise, speaking on intellectual property issues in trade. He  wrote about those issues last month, in a piece on “Sorting out the high-tech patent mess.” That was in the wake of the US Trade Representative’s decision not to block the import of iPhones over a patent-infringement claim.

More voices from the conference and the world of trade policy soon to come.

About

Phil Levy is senior fellow on the global economy at The Chicago Council on Global Affairs. Previously he was associate professor of business administration at the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business. He was formerly a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute and taught at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs. From 2003 to 2006, he served first as senior economist for trade for President Bush’s Council of Economic Advisers and then as a member of Secretary of State Rice’s Policy Planning Staff, covering international economic matters. Before working in government, he was a faculty member of Yale University’s Department of Economics for nine years and spent one of those as academic director of Yale’s Center for the Study of Globalization.

His academic writings have appeared in such outlets as The American Economic ReviewEconomic Journal, and theJournal of International Economics. He is a regular contributor to Foreign Policy magazine’s online Shadow Government section and writes on topics including trade policy, economic relations with China, and the European economic crisis. Dr. Levy has testified before the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, the Joint Economic Committee, the House Committee on Ways and Mean, and the US-China Economic and Security Review Commission. He received his PhD in Economics from Stanford University in 1994 and his AB in Economics from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor in 1988.

Archive

| By Brian Hanson

Border Tax Adjustment - Explained

What is a border tax adjustment, why is this national tax policy relevant to the global economy, and what headwinds does the proposed policy face from World Trade Organization and the US executive branch?



Brexit Is Not Just a British Problem

There are some surprising aspects to the way in which markets reacted in the immediate aftermath of the Brexit vote. There is enormous uncertainty about how Britain’s departure from the European Union will play out. But the early theme seems to be that the problem is a global one.



The Next FDI Firestorm

Concerns over national security erupted last month when a Chinese consortium purchased the Chicago Stock Exchange (CHX). Senior Fellow Phil Levy spoke with CHX president and CEO, John Kerin, to learn more. 

Three Questions about the US Economy

Is the US labor market loose or tight? Can central banks spur the economy by stepping on the gas? Can the US economy flourish if other economies are floundering?

Guest Commentary — TPP for Dummies

How do we know whether or not the Trans-Pacific Partnership reflects American interests? Research associate Andrew Morimoto has some highlights that show what select sectors really think.

How High a Minimum Wage?

New Pew results has Americans weighing in on the how high the minimum wage should be. The numbers are interesting because they get at some of the core beliefs about how a minimum wage works.


Guest Commentary — Trade Wars: A New Hope

Global trade hasn't fared well in 2015. As trade ministers meet this week in Nairobi for the WTO's 10th Ministerial Conference, can they get the global trade agenda back on track?



The Shortcomings of CNBC's Republican Debate

The third Republican debate held in Boulder, Colorado, was meant to cover the economy. That should have been natural terrain for the CNBC moderators, but were they missing the tough questions?


TPP - Quick Reaction

The Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal was reached today. So, is it time to break out the champagne?