Topic Category: Politics

The annual North American Leaders Summit was held in August in Guadalajara, Mexico, with President Obama, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Mexican President Felipe Calderon. As I speak to audiences around the United States, I repeatedly hear the same question: “What was accomplished during the summit?” My short answer: not much.

Topic: Politics
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President Barack Obama is neither a committed free-trader nor a hard core protectionist. But his continuing failure to commit to a pro-trade agenda amounts to de facto protectionism and subverts his economic and foreign policy objectives.

No Clear Signal

Reacting recently to a provision in the climate change bill that would impose trade penalties against nations that do not limit carbon emissions enough, the president said, “At a time when the economy worldwide is still deep in recession and we’ve seen a significant drop in global trade, I think we have to be very careful about sending any protectionist signals.”

Topic: Politics
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As President Obama seeks to boost the U.S. economy and build stronger ties with our friends abroad, he could advance both goals at once by urging Congress to pass the pending trade agreement with our South American neighbor, Colombia.

Topic: Politics
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There is reason for grave concern about the direction of U.S. trade policy. The bipartisan, pro-trade consensus, which served U.S. economic and diplomatic interests so well for so long, collapsed during the final two years of the Bush administration.

Congressional skeptics, who helped derail the U.S. trade agenda, have increased their ranks in the new Congress. And, already grim economic conditions appear to be growing worse, making the political climate even less hospitable to arguments favoring trade and globalization.

Topic: Politics
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Having just returned from a speaking tour in China and Singapore, I found the audiences there extremely interested in the perspectives of the Obama administration and the 111th Congress. And why not? Economic and trade policy decisions driven by this Congress and President will have a tremendous impact on Asia, as well as every other continent.

Topic: Politics
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Charles Darwin, author of On the Origin of Species published in 1859, once said, “It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.” If true, the new administration is off to a good start with China. Why? The Middle Kingdom’s global status has increased significantly and President Obama appears to have recognized it.

Topic: Politics
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The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, known as H.R. 1 or the $787 billion stimulus bill, was approved by Congress on February 13th and signed into law by President Obama on February 17th. Many aspects of the bill remain controversial. But the Buy American provision essentially provided the ingredients to start a trade war—until the Dorgan amendment was added. Although the provision has been rendered less effective, it still may become contentious once the dust settles.

Topic: Politics
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Many hope that President-elect Barack Obama will help uplift the American spirit and inspire a new “can-do” attitude toward remedying our serious economic problems. This, of course, is no easy task. But if successful, Obama’s encouragement will have awoken a uniquely American attribute currently lying dormant in the American psyche.

Topic: Politics
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Globalization is a fact of life in 21st century America, and America’s small businesses should be allowed to take full advantage of its opportunities.

Topic: Politics
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There are nearly 400 regional trade agreements either in force around the world, signed but not yet in force, or being negotiated, according to the World Trade Organization. And the number is anticipated to grow at an accelerated rate.

Not surprising, many of these agreements have evolved into trade blocs, such as the 27-member European Union and the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations. And as they evolve, their global negotiating strength increases as they capture more and more global trade and investment.

Topic: Politics
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