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Reshoring: Myth or Reality?

May 28, 2015 Comments off

Reshoring: Myth or Reality?
Source: IBISWorld

For decades, US companies in the manufacturing sector have increasingly sought to cut costs and improve profitability by offshoring and offshore outsourcing operations. Offshoring is the process in which companies base their operations overseas; offshore outsourcing is the process in which companies base part of their operations overseas and third-party companies are hired to perform operational duties.

However, recent analysis by independent sources suggests there has been some reversal in this trend over the past five years. As manufacturing makes its way back to the United States, a process known as reshoring, US-based manufacturers will have to determine the potential consequences and opportunities that can arise as a result of this movement.

From Refugee to Migrant? Labor Mobility’s Protection Potential

May 21, 2015 Comments off

From Refugee to Migrant? Labor Mobility’s Protection Potential
Source: Migration Policy Institute

Refugee protection—both asylum in the country of first refuge and resettlement to a third country—is a humanitarian endeavor, distinct from economic or labor migration. As victims of persecution, under international law refugees are entitled to specific protections, above all from forcible return, and the humanitarian nature of refugee protection is fundamental. However, what is less clear is the degree to which the right to move freely both within and beyond a country of first asylum can or should be encompassed within the international community’s understanding of what refugee protection involves.

Over the years, there has been growing international recognition that continued movement and migration often play an important role in shaping refugees’ lives after their initial flight, even without the formal legal channels to do so. The economic restrictions placed on refugees in many countries—including prohibitions on the right to work and limitations on movement away from camps—lead many individuals to pursue irregular secondary migration after being granted refugee status, in search of economic opportunity and sometimes even basic physical security. In light of this reality, pursuing labor mobility policies for refugees may make sense for both political and humanitarian reasons, offering the chance to enhance refugee protection while reducing the many costs associated with long-term refugee crises.

This report considers the extent to which labor migration is being used—or could be used in the future—to strengthen the international refugee protection regime and facilitate durable solutions for more refugees. The report also outlines two possible ways that policymakers could facilitate refugees’ freedom of movement: initiatives that take advantage of existing migration pathways and regional freedom-of-movement protocols, and development of temporary and permanent refugee-focused labor migration programs.

Cost Sharing Arrangements and Income Shifting

May 8, 2015 Comments off

Cost Sharing Arrangements and Income Shifting
Source: Social Science Research Network

This study investigates the cost sharing arrangement (CSA), which is a mechanism used by multinational corporations (MNCs) to shift valuable intellectual property (IP) offshore to low-tax jurisdictions. We find that a CSA enables the MNC to shift income to low-tax foreign jurisdictions when the effect of domestic marketing intangibles on foreign income exceeds the effect of foreign marketing intangibles on domestic income. We also find that a CSA is less attractive if payments for the use of IP are not based on the fair market value of that IP. If the MNC can understate the value, it prefers to sell domestically developed IP to a foreign subsidiary, which in turn will develop the IP. If the tax authority can overstate the value by imposing retroactive revaluations of the IP, the MNC prefers to develop the IP domestically.

The State of Immigration: U.S. is Far Behind in the Race for Global Talent

April 2, 2015 Comments off

The State of Immigration: U.S. is Far Behind in the Race for Global Talent
Source: Business Roundtable

Most Americans agree that the future of the U.S. economy depends on the ability of its businesses to compete globally. One of the key factors that allow U.S. employers to grow their businesses and create new jobs is their ability to recruit and retain talent from other countries. How well does the current U.S. employment-based immigration system support this goal? Based on original research and analysis, Business Roundtable found that the United States falls short when compared to other advanced economies.

Open Data in the G8

March 26, 2015 Comments off

Open Data in the G8
Source: Center for Data Innovation

In 2013, the leaders of the G8 signed an agreement committing to advance open data in their respective countries. This report assesses the current state of open data efforts in these countries and finds substantial variation in their progress. Moving forward, countries have many opportunities to enhance their open data capabilities, such as by increasing international collaboration, better educating policymakers about the benefits of open data, and working closely with civil society on open data initiatives.

Protection in Crisis: Forced Migration and Protection in a Global Era

March 26, 2015 Comments off

Protection in Crisis: Forced Migration and Protection in a Global Era
Source: Migration Policy Institute

More than 51 million people worldwide are forcibly displaced today as refugees, asylum seekers, or internally displaced persons. According to the 1951 Geneva Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees, to be recognized legally as a refugee, an individual must be fleeing persecution on the basis of religion, race, political opinion, nationality, or membership in a particular social group, and must be outside the country of nationality. However, the contemporary drivers of displacement are complex and multilayered, making protection based on a strict definition of persecution increasingly problematic and challenging to implement.

Many forced migrants now fall outside the recognized refugee and asylum apparatus. Much displacement today is driven by a combination of intrastate conflict, poor governance and political instability, environmental change, and resource scarcity. These conditions, while falling outside traditionally defined persecution, leave individuals highly vulnerable to danger and uncertain of the future, compelling them to leave their homes in search of greater security. In addition, the blurring of lines between voluntary and forced migration, as seen in mixed migration flows, together with the expansion of irregular migration, further complicates today’s global displacement picture.

This report details the increasing mismatch between the legal and normative frameworks that define the existing protection regime and the contemporary patterns of forced displacement. It analyzes contemporary drivers and emerging trends of population displacement, noting that the majority of forcibly displaced people—some 33.3 million—remain within their own countries, and that more than 50 percent of the displaced live in urban areas. The author then outlines and assesses key areas where the international protection system is under the most pressure, and finally examines the key implications of these trends for policymakers and the international community, outlining some possible policy directions for reform.

Waterpipe Tobacco Smoking: A Global Epidemic

March 20, 2015 Comments off

Waterpipe Tobacco Smoking: A Global Epidemic
Source: Tobacco Control

The story has been told many times: waterpipe, a centuries-old tobacco use method in which smoke is passed through water before being inhaled, probably originated on the Indian subcontinent and southeast Asia. Over the years, it spread and became popular in the Middle East. During most of the 20th century, it seemed that waterpipe’s heyday had passed, in favour of easy-to-use types of tobacco such as cigarettes. Its use was not even registered in the expanding body of global tobacco surveillance systems. The medical and public health literatures made little note of it: Rakower and Fatal’s examination of lung cancer mortality rates by ethnic groups in Jerusalem that differed in their use of waterpipe, appearing in the British Journal of Cancer, was the first notice of waterpipe in Medline in 1962, and almost 20 years were to pass before any additional studies were to appear. But things suddenly changed in the 1990s: upticks in use were observed in the Middle East, especially among teenagers and young adults. This was mostly fuelled by the invention of flavoured and easier-to-use tobacco, a growing café culture in the Middle East, and expanding internet availability and globalisation. As a result, waterpipe use has snowballed globally at the start of the 21st century.

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