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Archive for the ‘trade’ Category

Enterprising States 2014: Re-Creating Equality and Opportunity

July 23, 2014 Comments off

Enterprising States 2014: Re-Creating Equality and Opportunity
Source: U.S. Chamber of Commerce

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation has released its annual Enterprising States study, offering an in-depth look at the free enterprise policies being implemented to promote economic growth at the state and local levels.

Now in its fifth edition, the Enterprising States study measures state performance overall and across five policy areas important for job growth and economic prosperity. Those five areas include:

  • Talent Pipeline
  • Exports and International Trade
  • Technology and Entrepreneurship
  • Business Climate
  • Infrastructure

The 2014 report relates these policies and practices to the need for collaboration between education, workforce development, and economic development to positively combat the nation’s growing skills gap.

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Defense offsets: From ‘contractual burden’ to competitive weapon

July 22, 2014 Comments off

Defense offsets: From ‘contractual burden’ to competitive weapon
Source: McKinsey & Company

Western defense companies now need to look outside their core markets for growth. In the aftermath of the global economic crisis and over a decade of engagement in southwest Asia, many Western countries have scaled back their defense budgets, favoring instead more targeted spending and austerity plans. In Europe, ministries of defense are downsizing their military operations and procurement programs, and in the United States, the effects of the Budget Control Act of 2011 and sequestration will restrict defense spending through 2021 absent congressional action. By contrast, many countries representing addressable markets in Asia, the Middle East, and South America are investing in defense-modernization programs and over the past few years have increased their defense spending at compound annual growth rates of between 5 and 10 percent.

New From the GAO

July 21, 2014 Comments off

New GAO Reports
Source: Government Accountability Office

1. Consumer Finance: Credit Cards Designed for Medical Services Not Covered by Insurance. GAO-14-570, June 19.
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-14-570
Highlights - http://www.gao.gov/assets/670/664256.pdf
Podcast - http://www.gao.gov/multimedia/podcasts/664738

2. State Department: Implementation of Grants Policies Needs Better Oversight. GAO-14-635, July 21.
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-14-635
Highlights - http://www.gao.gov/assets/670/664905.pdf

3. African Growth and Opportunity Act: Observations on Competitiveness and Diversification of U.S. Imports from Beneficiary Countries. GAO-14-722R, July 21.
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-14-722R

Arts and Culture in Australia: A Statistical Overview, 2014

July 14, 2014 Comments off

Arts and Culture in Australia: A Statistical Overview, 2014
Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics

Provides a statistical overview of culture in Australia. Contains information on a range of topics including employment in culture, time spent on cultural activities, attendances at cultural venues and events, expenditure on culture, and imports and exports of cultural goods and services. Also provides profiles of the cultural sectors, grouped according to the Australian Culture and Leisure Industry Classification.

The Effects of Phytosanitary Regulations on U.S. Imports of Fresh Fruits and Vegetables

July 9, 2014 Comments off

The Effects of Phytosanitary Regulations on U.S. Imports of Fresh Fruits and Vegetables
Source: USDA Economic Research Service

Trade agreements have reduced tariff rates and worked to restrain the arbitrary use of nontariff measures, including sanitary and phytosanitary measures, since the 1980s. U.S. imports of fruits and vegetables have risen steadily during this period as more country-commodity combinations have been approved for importation to the United States.

New From the GAO

June 25, 2014 Comments off

New From the GAO
Source: Government Accountability Office

Reports

1. Information Security: Additional Oversight Needed to Improve Programs at Small Agencies. GAO-14-344, June 25.
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-14-344
Highlights - http://www.gao.gov/assets/670/664420.pdf

2. Aviation Safety: Additional Oversight Planning by FAA Could Enhance Safety Risk Management. GAO-14-516, June 25.
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-14-516
Highlights - http://www.gao.gov/assets/670/664401.pdf

3. Traffic Safety: Alcohol Ignition Interlocks Are Effective While Installed; Less Is Known about How to Increase Installation Rates. GAO-14-559, June 20.
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-14-559
Highlights - http://www.gao.gov/assets/670/664282.pdf

4. Diplomatic Security: Overseas Facilities May Face Greater Risks Due to Gaps in Security-Related Activities, Standards, and Policies. GAO-14-655, June 25.
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-14-655
Highlights - http://www.gao.gov/assets/670/664423.pdf
Podcast - http://www.gao.gov/multimedia/podcasts/664325

Testimonies

1. Export-Import Bank: Status of GAO Recommendations on Risk Management, Exposure Forecasting, and Workload Issues, by Mathew J. Scirè, director, financial markets and community investment, before the House Committee on Financial Services. GAO-14-708T, June 25.
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-14-708T
Highlights - http://www.gao.gov/assets/670/664379.pdf

2. Medicare Fraud: Further Actions Needed to Address Fraud, Waste, and Abuse, by Kathleen M. King, director, health care, before the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, House Committee on Energy and Commerce. GAO-14-712T, June 25.
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-14-712T
Highlights - http://www.gao.gov/assets/670/664382.pdf

What Explains the Volume and Composition of Trade? Industrial Evidence from a Panel of Countries

June 24, 2014 Comments off

What Explains the Volume and Composition of Trade? Industrial Evidence from a Panel of Countries
Source: OECD

This paper quantifies the importance of different determinants of trade at the industry level using a sample of 54 OECD and non-OECD economies. The empirical methodology extends the approach of previous empirical studies to explicitly quantify the impact that trading partners’ factor endowments and policies have on bilateral trade, and to analyse the effect of tariffs on the volume and composition of trade. We find that distance, common language, common border and regional trade agreements are important determinants of overall trade, and that factor endowments, policies and institutions, of both the exporter and its trading partners, are main determinants of what and where a country exports. By contrast, we find that trade policies based on tariffs on imported goods not only generate negative spillovers to trading partners by reducing their exports, but they are also likely to reduce exports of countries that impose the tariffs, in particular in industries that rely more on intermediate goods.

Global flows in a digital age

June 23, 2014 Comments off

Global flows in a digital age
Source: McKinsey & Company

Global flows have been a common thread in economic growth for centuries, since the days of the Silk Road, through the mercantilist and colonial periods and the Industrial Revolution. But today, the movement of goods, services, finance, and people has reached previously unimagined levels. Global flows are creating new degrees of connectedness among economies—and playing an ever-larger role in determining the fate of nations, companies, and individuals; to be unconnected is to fall behind.

Flows of goods, services, and finance reached $26 trillion in 2012, or 36 percent of global GDP, 1.5 times the level in 1990. Now, one in three goods crosses national borders, and more than one-third of financial investments are international transactions. In the next decade, global flows could triple, powered by rising prosperity and participation in the emerging world and by the spread of the Internet and digital technologies. Our scenarios show that global flows could reach $54 trillion to $85 trillion by 2025, more than double or triple their current scale.

A new McKinsey Global Institute (MGI) report, Global flows in a digital age: How trade, finance, people, and data connect the world economy, examines the inflows and outflows of goods, services, finance, and people, as well as the data and communication flows that underlie them all, for 195 countries around the world.

New From the GAO

June 20, 2014 Comments off

New GAO Report and Testimony
Source: Government Accountability Office

Report

1. Tobacco Product Regulation: Most FDA Spending Funded Public Education, Regulatory Science, and Compliance and Enforcement Activities. GAO-14-561, June 20.
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-14-561
Highlights – http://www.gao.gov/assets/670/664278.pdf

Testimony

1. Export Controls: NASA Management Action and Improved Oversight Needed to Reduce the Risk of Unauthorized Access to Its Technologies, by Belva Martin, director, acquisition and sourcing management, before the Subcommittees on
Space and Oversight, House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology. GAO-14-690T, June 20.
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-14-690T
Highlights – http://www.gao.gov/assets/670/664274.pdf

New From the GAO

June 4, 2014 Comments off

New GAO Reports and Testimonies
Source: Government Accountability Office

Reports

1. Export Promotion: Trade Agencies Should Enhance Collaboration with State and Local Partners. GAO-14-393, May 21.
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-14-393
Highlights - http://www.gao.gov/assets/670/663363.pdf

2. DHS Intelligence Analysis: Additional Actions Needed to Address Analytic Priorities and Workforce Challenges. GAO-14-397, June 4.
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-14-397
Highlights - http://www.gao.gov/assets/670/663793.pdf

3. Education Grants: Promise Neighborhoods Promotes Collaboration but Needs National Evaluation Plan. GAO-14-432, May 5.
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-14-432
Highlights - http://www.gao.gov/assets/670/663000.pdf

Testimonies

1. Maritime Security: Progress and Challenges with Selected Port Security Programs, by Stephen L. Caldwell, director, homeland security and justice, before the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs. GAO-14-636T, June 4.
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-14-636T
Highlights - http://www.gao.gov/assets/670/663783.pdf

2. Consumer’s Location Data: Companies Take Steps to Protect Privacy, but Practices Are Inconsistent, and Risks May Not Be Clear to Consumers, by Mark L. Goldstein, director, physical infrastructure issues, before the Subcommittee on Privacy, Technology and the Law, Senate Committee on the Judiciary. GAO-14-649T, June 4.
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-14-649T
Highlights - http://www.gao.gov/assets/670/663786.pdf

Exports and American Information and Communications Technology Companies and Workers

May 30, 2014 Comments off

Exports and American Information and Communications Technology Companies and Workers (PDF)
Source: Technology CEO Council

The information and communications technology (ICT) industries are a vital part of the American economy, employing 4.2 million U.S. workers in 2012. Every sector of the economy relies on ICT hardware, software and services to some degree. In addition, over 70 percent of ICT spending occurs outside of the United States. Access to global markets enables American ICT companies to make substantial investments in research, capital spending, and worker training in the United States; increase productivity across sectors by developing innovative products and processes; and generate new ideas, firms, and jobs that maintain the pre-­‐eminence of the U.S. ICT industries. Thus, growth of ICT exports is an essential element in the success of efforts to expand business opportunities for American workers and employers generally.

In 2012, U.S. ICT exports exceeded $270 billion, or more than $1 out of every $8 in total U.S. exports. They include $201 billion of domestically manufactured goods like Intel or Micron semiconductors; $72 billion of ICT services such as consulting services provided by companies like IBM and Xerox; data and computer processing services like those provided by EMC; and royalties collected by U.S. companies for software purchased by customers around the world.

This study explores the importance of ICT exports to states and congressional districts across the United States. All 50 states and 435 congressional districts – plus the District of Columbia – export ICT hardware, software and services. The foreign markets are many, and varied.

The Transatlantic Economy 2014

May 30, 2014 Comments off

The Transatlantic Economy 2014
Source: Center for Transatlantic Relations

The United States and the European Union have launched negotiations towards a comprehensive economic agreement to open transatlantic markets. What will this mean for jobs, growth and innovation? How important are economic relations between the United States and Europe? The Transatlantic Economy 2014 annual survey offers the most up-to-date set of facts and figures describing the deep economic integration binding Europe and the United States. It documents European-sourced jobs, trade and investment in each of the 50 U.S. states, and U.S.-sourced jobs, trade and investment in each member state of the European Union and other European countries. It reviews key headline trends and helps readers understand the distinctive nature of transatlantic economic relations.

Key sectors of the transatlantic economy are integrating as never before. Europeans and Americans have become so intertwined that they are literally in each other’s business. These linkages underpin a multi-trillion dollar economy that generates millions of jobs on both sides of the Atlantic. The Transatlantic Economy 2014 offers a clear picture of the ‘deep integration’ forces shaping the U.S.-European economic relationship today; shows how these interdependencies have shifted in recent years; and explains how decision-makers can address the accompanying opportunities and challenges.

In the context of today’s debates about jobs, competitiveness, financial crisis, changing economic fortunes and rising powers, The Transatlantic Economy 2014 provides key insights about the United States and Europe in the global economy, with often counterintuitive connections with important implications for policymakers, business leaders, and local officials.

African countries need to tap global markets more effectively to strengthen their economies

May 27, 2014 Comments off

African countries need to tap global markets more effectively to strengthen their economies
Source: African Development Bank/OECD

By participating more effectively in the global production of goods and services, Africa can transform its economy and achieve a development breakthrough, according to the latest African Economic Outlook, released at the African Development Bank Group’s Annual Meetings.

Produced annually by the African Development Bank (AfDB), the OECD Development Centre and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), this year’s report shows that Africa has weathered internal and external shocks and is poised to achieve healthy economic growth rates.

The continent’s growth is projected to accelerate to 4.8 percent in 2014 and 5 to 6 percent in 2015, levels which have not been seen since the global economic crisis of 2009. Africa’s economic growth is more broad-based, argues the report, driven by domestic demand, infrastructure and increased continental trade in manufactured goods.

CRS — Generalized System of Preferences: Background and Renewal Debate

May 27, 2014 Comments off

Generalized System of Preferences: Background and Renewal Debate (PDF)
Source: Congressional Research Service (via Federation of American Scientists)

The U.S. Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) program provides non-reciprocal, duty-free tariff treatment to certain products imported from designated beneficiary developing countries (BDCs). The United States, the European Union, and other developed countries have implemented similar programs since the 1970s.The U.S. program was first authorized in Title V of the Trade Act of 1974, and is subject to periodic renewal by Congress. The GSP program was most recently extended until July 31, 2013, in Section 1 of P.L. 112-40, and has not yet been renewed. Imports under the GSP program in 2013 amounted to about $18.5 billion—about 7% of all imports from GSP countries, and about 1% of total U.S. imports.

CRS — U.S. Foreign Trade in Services: Trends and U.S. Policy Challenges

May 27, 2014 Comments off

U.S. Foreign Trade in Services: Trends and U.S. Policy Challenges (PDF)
Source: Congressional Research Service (via Federation of American Scientists)

The term “services” refers to an expanding range of economic activities, such as construction, retail and wholesale sales, e-commerce, financial services, professional services (such as accounting and legal services), transportation, tourism, and telecommunications. They have become an important priority in U.S. foreign trade flows and trade policy and of global trade in general, although their intangibility, the requirement for direct buyer-provider contact, and other characteristics have limited the types and volume of services that can be traded. Congress is expected to consider in the future U.S. trade agreements currently under negotiation that include services as significant components.

New From the GAO

May 15, 2014 Comments off

New GAO Reports and Testimony
Source: Government Accountability Office

Reports

1. Export Controls: NASA Management Action and Improved Oversight Needed to Reduce the Risk of Unauthorized Access to Its Technologies. GAO-14-315, April 15.
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-14-315
Highlights - http://www.gao.gov/assets/670/662560.pdf
Podcast - http://www.gao.gov/multimedia/podcasts/662975

2. F-22 Modernization: Cost and Schedule Transparency Is Improved, Further Visibility into Reliability Efforts Is Needed. GAO-14-425, May 15.
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-14-425
Highlights - http://www.gao.gov/assets/670/663197.pdf

3. National Nuclear Security Administration: Agency Report to Congress on Potential Efficiencies Does Not Include Key Information. GAO-14-434, May 15.
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-14-434
Highlights - http://www.gao.gov/assets/670/663220.pdf

4. Biological Defense: DOD Has Strengthened Coordination on Medical Countermeasures but Can Improve Its Process for Threat Prioritization. GAO-14-442, May 15.
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-14-442
Highlights - http://www.gao.gov/assets/670/663213.pdf

5. International Labor Grants: Labor Should Improve Management of Key Award Documentation. GAO-14-493, May 15.
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-14-493
Highlights - http://www.gao.gov/assets/670/663202.pdf

6. Financial Audit: Congressional Award Foundation’s Fiscal Years 2013 and 2012 Financial Statements. GAO-14-540, May 15.
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-14-540

Testimony

1. VA Health Care: VA Lacks Accurate Information about Outpatient Medical Appointment Wait Times, Including Specialty Care Consults, by Debra A. Draper, director, health care, before the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs. GAO-14-620T, May 15.
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-14-620T
Highlights - http://www.gao.gov/assets/670/663194.pdf

EU — Foreign affiliates statistics – employment by business function

May 6, 2014 Comments off

Foreign affiliates statistics – employment by business function
Source: Eurostat

This article investigates the employment record of foreign affiliates, by business function, of enterprises in 14 European Union (EU) Member States and Norway. It shows that employment in foreign affiliates of European enterprises is falling less than in the domestic enterprises.

Most of the foreign affiliates, however, are located within Europe and are found more often in the manufacturing sector than in the services sector. Furthermore there is no evidence of substantial movement of knowledge-intensive business functions to destinations outside Europe. The business function with the highest share of employment in foreign affiliates is marketing and sales, indicating enterprises’ desire to establish a commercial presence in foreign markets.

A new view of international trade

May 2, 2014 Comments off

A new view of international trade
Source: Deloitte

A fresh take on the numbers suggests that the United States’ international trade position is stronger than widely assumed.

Categories: Deloitte, trade

CRS — Trade Promotion Authority (TPA): Frequently Asked Questions

April 29, 2014 Comments off

Trade Promotion Authority (TPA): Frequently Asked Questions (PDF)
Source: Congressional Research Service (via Federation of American Scientists)

Trade Promotion Authority (TPA), formerly called fast track, is the authority Congress has granted to the President for limited periods of time to negotiate reciprocal trade agreements. The authority lays out U.S. trade negotiating objectives, procedures for congressional-executive notification and consultation, and expedited legislative procedures under which bills implementing trade agreements negotiated by the executive branch are to be considered. The most recent authority was enacted in December 2002 and expired as of July 1, 2007. Legislation to reauthorize TPA has been introduced in the 113th Congress. The United States is engaged in several sets of trade agreement negotiations. The issue of TPA reauthorization has raised a number of questions regarding TPA itself and the pending legislation. This report addresses a number of those questions that are frequently asked, including:

• What is trade promotion authority?
• Is TPA necessary?
• What are trade negotiating objectives and how are they reflected in TPA statutes?
• What requirements does Congress impose on the President under TPA?
• Does TPA affect congressional authority on trade policy?

CRS — Malaysia: Background and U.S. Relations

April 29, 2014 Comments off

Malaysia: Background and U.S. Relations (PDF)
Source: Congressional Research Service (via Federation of American Scientists)

\Malaysia, a majority Muslim nation in Southeast Asia, has long been a partner in U.S. security and economic initiatives in the region, although political sensitivities in Malaysia have constrained both sides from forging deeper ties or even acknowledging how close the relationship is. Bilateral relations have improved over the past decade, especially under Prime Minister Najib Razak, who has made relations with the United States a priority. The Obama Administration has emphasized deeper engagement with Malaysia and other “emerging partners” in Southeast Asia as part of the strategic “rebalancing” of U.S. resources and attention to the Asia-Pacific region. Congress has expressed interest in a variety of issues in U.S.-Malaysia relations over the years, especially regarding trade, security cooperation, human rights, and Malaysia’s diplomacy.

The two nations are major trade and investment partners. In 2013, Malaysia was the 25th largest market for U.S. exports and the 18th largest supplier of U.S. imports. The United States was Malaysia’s 4th largest export market (after Singapore, China, and Japan) and the 4th largest supplier of imports (after China, Singapore, and Japan). Both countries are parties to the Trans- Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations, which aim to create a high-standards free trade agreement among 12 countries comprising nearly 40% of the global economy. The United States’ main trade-related concerns are Malaysia’s government procurement policies, protection of intellectual property rights, and market access for key goods and services.

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