Archive for the ‘trade’ Category

Export-Import Bank: Industries and Implications

November 3, 2014 Comments off

Export-Import Bank: Industries and Implications
Source: IBISWorld

The upcoming November elections have turned the renewal mandate for an 80-year-old credit agency into a hot topic. The Export-Import Bank, established in the wake of the Great Depression, is the national export credit agency of the United States. It aims to support US exports by providing financial assistance, including direct loans and loan guarantees, to foreign buyers of US goods. For example, it may support domestic aircraft manufacturers by providing a loan to a Korean airline carrier buying US aircraft.

The Bank’s mandate, last renewed in 2012 and likely temporarily extended to June 2015, faces expiration unless Congress votes to renew it. The debate in Congress centers on both the Bank’s usefulness and the fundamental role of government in the economy. Those in favor of the Bank argue that the agency is essential for supporting US jobs in export-oriented industries. In particular, they argue that the Bank plays an important role in filling the gaps created by private markets unable or unwilling to finance high-risk export deals. Conversely, those against renewing the Bank’s mandate dispute the necessity of government financing, arguing that it crowds out readily available private finance. They also maintain that the Bank hurts other domestic industries by subsidizing their foreign competitors, in addition to misallocating capital, encouraging “corporate welfare” and putting taxpayer money at risk.

With the debate raging on in Congress and in public, the arguments surrounding the Bank have become increasingly politicized. In this light, an analysis of the Bank’s specific areas of operation would help refocus and substantiate the discussion

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Doing Business 2015: Going Beyond Efficiency

October 30, 2014 Comments off

Doing Business 2015: Going Beyond Efficiency
Source: World Bank

Doing Business 2015: Going Beyond Efficiency, a World Bank Group flagship publication, is the 12th in a series of annual reports measuring the regulations that enhance business activity and those that constrain it. Doing Business presents quantitative indicators on business regulations and the protection of property rights that can be compared across 189 economies—from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe—and over time.

Doing Business measures regulations affecting 11 areas of the life of a business. Ten of these areas are included in this year’s ranking on the ease of doing business: starting a business, dealing with construction permits, getting electricity, registering property, getting credit, protecting minority investors, paying taxes, trading across borders, enforcing contracts and resolving insolvency. Doing Business also measures labor market regulation, which is not included in this year’s ranking.

Data in Doing Business 2015 are current as of June 1, 2014. The indicators are used to analyze economic outcomes and identify what reforms of business regulation have worked, where and why. This year’s report introduces a notable expansion of several indicator sets and a change in the calculation of rankings.

CRS — The U.S. Wine Industry and Selected Trade Issues with the European Union (July 24, 2014)

October 28, 2014 Comments off

The U.S. Wine Industry and Selected Trade Issues with the European Union (PDF)
Source: Congressional Research Service (via National Agricultural Law Center)

Global wine production totaled roughly 27 billion liters in 2012. The European Union (EU) dominates world production, accounting for nearly 60% of all wine produced each year. France, Italy, and Spain are among the principal EU wine-producing countries. The United States is the world’s second-largest wine-producing region, accounting for 10% of global production. The value of world trade in wine totaled more than $21 billion in 2013. The EU accounted for nearly 60% of the world’s export market for wine, valued at $12 billion in 2013. Other exporting nations include Australia, Chile, the United States, New Zealand, Argentina, and South Africa.

The United States is a major exporter of wine with about 7% of global exports in 2013. The U.S. wine industry has identified a range of international barriers to trade that may be limiting U.S. wine exports abroad. These include import tariffs; foreign wine producer subsidies and support; preferential market access, such as free trade agreements between the EU and other countries; incompatible foreign wine composition standards; and a range of miscellaneous non-tariff barriers, such as state or provincial government monopolies, import licensing and customs clearance requirements, and wine labeling regulations. An annual report compiled by the U.S. wine industry also highlights a range of concerns in several countries, including concerns regarding trade with several EU countries and other countries worldwide.

The Cost of Non-Europe in the Single Market: Free Movement of Goods

October 24, 2014 Comments off

The Cost of Non-Europe in the Single Market: Free Movement of Goods
Source: RAND Corporation

Cost of Non-Europe Reports identify the possibilities for economic or other gains and/or the realisation of a ‘public good’ through common action at EU level in specific policy areas and sectors. This Cost of Non-Europe Report seeks to analyse the costs for citizens, businesses and relevant stake-holders of remaining gaps and barriers in the European Single Market, building on and updating the 1988 Cecchini Report, which quantified its potential benefits. This particular study uses an econometric model to estimate the potential benefits of removing existing barriers to foreign direct investment and non-tariff trade barriers within the European Union. The removal of existing trade barriers could boost total intra-EU merchandise exports up to 7 per cent in the long-term. These effects will vary by Member State, and by sector of the internal market.

Cross-Border Data Flows, the Internet and What it Means for U.S. and EU Trade and Investment

October 23, 2014 Comments off

Cross-Border Data Flows, the Internet and What it Means for U.S. and EU Trade and Investment
Source: Brookings Institution

The most globally significant bilateral trade and investment relationship is between the U.S. and the European Union. An increasing amount of this economic relationship is underpinned by cross-border flows of data.

Whether the U.S. and the EU are able to take full advantage of the opportunities for international trade and investment presented by their increasingly online and digital populations will affect transatlantic economic relations. As the world’s two largest economies, the U.S. and EU decisions on support for cross-border data flows will also have global implications.

Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor

October 13, 2014 Comments off

Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor
Source: U.S. Department of Labor

The Department of Labor’s annual Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor focuses on the efforts of certain U.S. trade beneficiary countries and territories to eliminate the worst forms of child labor through legislation, enforcement mechanisms, policies and social programs.

Brookings Doha Energy Forum Report 2014

October 7, 2014 Comments off

Brookings Doha Energy Forum Report 2014
Source: Brookings Institution

Major changes in geopolitics, political economy, and energy markets are altering the global energy landscape. A potential nuclear deal with Iran has raised the possibility of new supplies coming online, and ongoing political gridlock in Iraq has hampered the country’s ability to expand supply. The U.S. energy boom is increasingly viewed as a long-term phenomenon, while a prolonged crisis in Ukraine threatens to impact Russian gas supplies to Europe.

How will the political developments in Iraq and Iran affect oil supply? What will be the impact of the Ukraine crisis on Europe, Russia, and China? How will these shifts help shape the energy markets of tomorrow?

The 2014 Doha Energy Forum convened prominent industry experts and policymakers from Asia, the Middle East, Europe, and the United States for an in-depth dialogue on the rapidly changing global energy landscape. Based on the Forum’s plenary and roundtable sessions, this paper from the Brookings’ Doha Center and Energy Security Initiative reflects much of the discussion and debate around these changes. It also outlines the complexity of today’s energy markets and the geopolitical factors that set them in motion.


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