With rigorous economic research and practical policy solutions, we focus on the issues and institutions that are critical to global development. Explore our core themes and topics to learn more about our work.
In timely and incisive analysis, our experts parse the latest development news and devise practical solutions to new and emerging challenges. Our events convene the top thinkers and doers in global development.
Elliott was with the Peterson Institute for many years before joining the Center full-time. Her books published there include Can International Labor Standards Improve under Globalization? (with Richard B. Freeman, 2003), Corruption and the Global Economy (1997), Reciprocity and Retaliation in US Trade Policy (with Thomas O. Bayard, 1994), Measuring the Costs of Protection in the United States (with Gary Hufbauer, 1994), and Economic Sanctions Reconsidered (with Gary Hufbauer and Jeffrey Schott, 3rd. ed., 2007). She served on a National Research Council committee on Monitoring International Labor Standards and on the USDA Consultative Group on the Elimination of Child Labor in US Agricultural Imports, and is currently a member of the National Advisory Committee for Labor Provisions in US Free Trade Agreements. Elliott received a Master of Arts degree, with distinction, in security studies and international economics from the Johns Hopkins University, School of Advanced International Studies (1984) and a Bachelor of Arts degree, with honors in political science, from Austin College (1982). In 2004, Austin College named her a Distinguished Alumna.
Senator Bob Corker (R-TN) and Representative Ed Royce (R-CA) have teamed up with Democratic colleagues Senator Chris Coons (D-DE) and Representative Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) to introduce new legislation that would reform US international food aid to deliver more help to more people in crisis, faster.
This bipartisan group of lawmakers has championed changes to the inefficient policies associated with US global food assistance for years. But both Corker and Royce have announced they will retire from Congress at the end of the current session. This bill represents their last push to see food aid reform over the finish line, and recent changes in the landscape suggest it might also be their best chance to do so. The American Farm Bureau Federation, which long resisted changes to existing international food assistance programs that require the US government to purchase commodities in the United States and ship them long distances to those in need, recently embraced reform.
Giving the US Agency for International Development the flexibility to use cash, vouchers, or locally purchased food when one of those would be faster and more effective in helping hungry people in need
Stretching US food aid dollars by eliminating monetization, a slow and costly process whereby the US government provides NGOs with food that they must arrange to ship and then sell in developing countries to raise funds for their programs
Both bills would also preserve 25 percent of food aid for purchases of US commodities. Senators Corker and Coons estimate that reform could save $300 million that could be used to help feed an additional nine million more people.
As noted in the press release from the Corker and Coons offices, food aid is just 0.2 percent of total US agricultural production, so reducing the share of food aid that is purchased domestically would have a trivial effect on demand and no effect on prices. Recognizing that reality, the head of the American Farm Bureau Federation, Zippy Duvall, recently joined Senators Corker and Coons in an op-ed that called for modernization of food aid programs in the farm bill that Congress must pass this year.
The US shipping lobby—which benefits from requirements that at least half of US-sourced food aid must be transported on US-flagged ships—remains a stalwart opponent of sensible reform. But it’s the House and Senate Agriculture Committees that will draft the new farm bill. And with the Farm Bureau on board, this may be the last, best chance for long-time reform champions to ensure US international food aid reaches more of the people who need it most.
The Center for Global Development and Oxfam are hosting a discussion on the Politics of Pro-Worker Reforms with author Alice Evans. Alice will present her paper on the drivers of pro-worker reforms in Vietnam, including how rich countries can use the tools of trade and aid to support workers’ rights, social activism, and decent pay. Specifically, she examines the relative roles of the Better Work program and US demands for labor reform during negotiation of the Trans-Pacific Partnership in encouraging Vietnamese labor market reforms. The paper can be found here, and a blog summary here.
Expectations were low for the eleventh World Trade Organization (WTO) ministerial meeting in Buenos Aires, and on most accounts it still managed to under-deliver. The two previous ministerial meetings in Bali and Nairobi produced limited but important multilateral agreements to promote trade facilitation and eliminate beggar-thy-neighbor agricultural export subsidies. But this time around, US and Indian negotiators refused to compromise in service of achieving a consensus agreement in any area. Roughly three quarters of WTO members endorsed a precedent-setting, albeit hortatory, declaration on women and trade; the United States and India did not. And there were statements from varying groups of “like-minded” countries to pursue work in areas that could eventually lead to “plurilateral” agreements. Still, it is not clear these efforts are any more likely to overcome the sharp differences that have prevented compromise among the broader membership. And if they do, they could end up marginalizing smaller, less powerful developing countries.
The Obstinate Actors and a Leadership Vacuum
President Trump made clear his preference for bilateral trade when he withdrew from the 12-country Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) shortly after taking office. US trade negotiators reflected the skepticism toward multilateralism in the run up to Buenos Aires when they blocked agreement on a draft ministerial declaration that would have “reaffirmed the centrality of the multilateral trading system and the development dimension of the organisation’s work.” Meanwhile, there is India, which has repeatedly threatened to block WTO agreements (including the Trade Facilitation Agreement) unless WTO members conceded to its demands on public stockholding for food security. In Buenos Aires, India continued to hold things up over the stockholding issue, but the country’s negotiators also refused to accept disciplines on fishery subsidies—even subsidies contributing to “illegal, unreported, and unregulated” fishing. Unsustainable fishery subsidies had been one of the areas receiving extensive attention in the lead up to the ministerial, and where hopes had been highest for reaching agreement.
In the end, it was a relief to many that the United States did not actively seek to dismantle the WTO—as some had feared. But giving up its traditional leadership role could lead to a similar result, only more slowly. The European Union, under Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malstrom, tried to fill the void, but it got little help. China, which I had hoped would back its recent free trade rhetoric with action, mostly stayed on the sidelines. And India remains unwilling to pay any domestic political price to preserve a multilateral, rules-based trading system.
Does Eroding Multilateralism Matter?
So does it matter if plurilateral negotiations among self-selected groups of like-minded countries replace consensus-based, multilateral trade agreements? There are two models for plurilateral agreements at the WTO. In one, a “critical mass” of countries accounting for the vast majority of trade agree, for example, to reduce tariffs on certain products. Under the WTO’s “most-favored nation” nondiscrimination principle, all members benefit from the tariff cuts negotiated. This was the approach taken under the Information Technology Agreement. In the other model, only those willing to sign onto the agreement reap the benefits. This was the approach taken in the plurilateral Government Procurement Agreement, where only signatories get improved access to one another’s markets. In the latter case, smaller developing countries could feel compelled to join agreements to remain competitive—with respect to e-commerce, for example—but without having had any leverage to influence the negotiations.
In Buenos Aires, there were no plurilateral agreements, but there were ministerial statements endorsed by varying groups of 70-80 members pledging cooperation on investment facilitation for development, exploratory work on future negotiations on trade-related e-commerce rules, and an informal work program on micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises (all of the ministerial documents are available here). US negotiators endorsed only the statement on e-commerce while India signed on to none.
Even in an area that would seem ripe for consensus, divisions emerged with key members. Led by Canada, Iceland, and Sierra Leone, 118 of the 160+ WTO members signed a declaration calling for efforts to increase trade opportunities for women. While not legally binding, the declaration’s endorsers committed to improving data collection and information sharing around women in trade. But even that promise was apparently too much for the United States and India, which along with Saudi Arabia, South Africa, and Venezuela, and others, declined to endorse the declaration.
Plurilateral agreements on an issue-by-issue basis among coalitions of the willing may be the only way forward. But how meaningful can such agreements be if key countries are missing? And none of this bodes well for smaller developing countries that will have little or no voice.
Members of the World Trade Organization will be meeting next week in Buenos Aires to discuss the future of agricultural and other trade policies that could have important implications for food security and jobs in developing countries (eventually). And members of the US House and Senate agricultural committees will be meeting through next year to craft a new five-year farm bill that will help shape global markets and determine how much and how quickly US food aid can be delivered to people in desperate need around the world.
Conditions in agricultural markets are not nearly so dire today as they were in the early 2000s, when prices were through the floor, or in 2007-08, when prices doubled and tripled in just a few months. But extreme poverty around the world remains primarily a rural problem and agriculture provides employment for half or more of the people in low- and lower-middle-income countries. And the conditions creating the continuing need for food aid in conflict-ridden areas in Africa and the Middle East are more desperate than at any time in recent memory. That makes the urgency of reforming the US program to make it more responsive and less expensive even greater.
For those interested in these issues and in the implications for the poor and food insecure in developing countries, there are a number of new resources to check out. My recent CGD book, Global Agriculture and the American Farmer: Opportunities for US Leadership, shows why and how agriculture is important to developing countries, and how US (and other) policies affect global agricultural markets. It suggests ways that WTO members could revive their efforts to ensure that these policies are not to the detriment of poor farmers in developing countries. The accompanying brief focuses on a few priorities to make the farm bill less costly for American consumers and taxpayers, as well as the rest of the world, including removal of the in-kind and cargo preference policies hampering food aid deliveries. In other chapters of my book, I focus on US agricultural policies mostly outside the farm bill that undermine global public goods, including biofuels and climate change, and antibiotic use in livestock that contributes to the spread of drug-resistant superbugs.
I also had the pleasure of being a discussant this fall at the launch of two projects hosted by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI). In an edited volume for IFPRI, Antoine Bouёt, David Laborde, and colleagues provide incredible depth and detail on how the WTO tried to put disciplines on agricultural protection and support in the Doha Round of trade negotiations, with a focus on implications for developing countries. The authors in this volume also look at issues that emerged as a result of the food price spikes in 2007-08, including the role of export restrictions in exacerbating price volatility and of public food stocks and crop insurance in managing volatility.
The second project, involving IFPRI senior research fellow Joe Glauber (also the former chief economist of the US Department of Agriculture) and coordinated by American Enterprise Institute fellow Vincent Smith, takes an in-depth, and critical, look at a dozen farm bill issues. Among those of most interest for developing countries are papers proposing significant reforms to the food aid program (similar to what I recommend in my book and brief) and elimination of import protection and price support for US sugar cane and beet growers.
If you’re interested in the short versions of these resources, the podcast of my conversation with CGD’s Rajesh Mirchandani about my book is here, and video of the two IFPRI events is here and here. The International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development also has a series of briefings on key WTO ministerial issues here, and will be providing updates from Buenos Aires.
For more on this topic—my colleague Ian Mitchell has written a post exploring key issues where WTO action next week could help prevent future food price spikes. Lots of food for thought!
Since Charles, Janeen, and I last wrote about the links between drug-resistant superbugs and antibiotic use in livestock, there has been a slew of new interesting, terrifying, and informative things to read on the topic. And they all underscore the need for a global approach to reduce agricultural use of antibiotics to promote animal growth and prevent disease in large, concentrated feeding operations. We offered initial ideas on the essential elements of a global treaty here. You can also read more about the problem, and the steps taken thus far to address it, in my new CGD book, Global Agriculture and the American Farmer: Opportunities for US Leadership.
In a recent blog post on the topic, my colleagues and I applauded McDonald's decision to (gradually) extend its US-only policy of eliminating the use of medically important antibiotics among its chicken suppliers in countries around the world. That was not enough, however, to raise its grade from a C+ for the coalition of consumer, health, and environmental groups that just put out its third report card on antibiotic policies at the 25 largest US fast food chains. Since this is a global problem, McDonald's should have received a bit more credit for going global with its policy, even if it is lagging (like most other chains) on reducing antibiotic use among its beef and pork suppliers. You can find out how your favorite chain does here.
Also out recently is Maryn McKenna's new book, Big Chicken: The Incredible Story of How Antibiotics Created Modern Agriculture and Changed the Way the World Eats. She explores the history of feeding antibiotics to chickens (and other livestock) to promote faster growth—a practice that paved the way for the industrial agricultural production model prevalent in much of the world today. You can read an excerpt of the book on the NPR website.
What's even scarier is how intensive livestock operations are spreading around the world, alongside rising demand for meat in the rapidly growing emerging markets of Brazil, India, and, especially, China. In a new article in Science magazine, Thomas Van Boeckel and colleagues estimate the consumption of antimicrobial drugs by food animals around the world—this involves statistical modeling because few countries collect this type of data. The authors also project that antibiotic use in livestock production will grow by some 50 percent by 2030, to more than 200,000 metric tons, if nothing is done. Finally, they explore how various policies, or combinations of policies, could constrain this growth by as much as 80 percent. The policies they examine include a cap on the permissible amount of antibiotics that could be used (per animal), a tax on veterinary drugs of concern, and reductions in meat consumption.
Each of these policy options for reducing antibiotic use in livestock has pros and cons in terms of how easily it could be implemented, what the distributional effects among rich and poor countries would be, and how effective it would be. As a first step, international cooperation would be necessary to effectively implement any of these policies, and our proposal for a global treaty provides a useful framework for how to do that.
McDonald's has just gone global with its commitment to serve chicken free from antibiotics that are critically important to human health. Building on a similar phase-out in its US chicken supply in 2016, the company will ban critical antibiotic use from sourced chicken in a handful of high-income countries and Brazil in 2018, expanding to a longer list of “designated markets” by 2027. That's evidence of both the potential to reduce global antibiotic use in livestock and the vital role consumers can play in speeding progress.
Widespread antimicrobial use accelerates the development of resistance, and the vast majority of current antibiotic use worldwide is in livestock—primarily to promote growth and prevent disease. Overall, antimicrobial resistance could be responsible for 10 million deaths a year by 2050. That’s why we're pushing for a global treaty to reduce antibiotic use in livestock. Our proposal is based on the successful model of the Vienna Convention and Montreal Protocol governing the use of chlorofluorocarbons—which helped dramatically slash their use and protect the ozone layer.
Two vital elements behind the ozone agreements were consumer pressure alongside industry leadership. In response to consumer demand, industry replaced ozone-depleting aerosol spray cans with pump spray containers. This proved to be relatively inexpensive and showed that change was possible. As pressures to do more mounted, industry invested in new technologies and approaches that replaced chlorofluorocarbon use in refrigerators, car air conditioners, and elsewhere. The equivalent of the aerosol can in the case of livestock antibiotic use is poultry. It turns out that feeding antibiotics to chickens doesn’t improve productivity as much as it used to. Some studies suggest that farmers can even save money by foregoing feed laced with antibiotics.
Enter McDonald's, with 36,900 restaurants spread across 120 countries. The restaurant chain is famously concerned with prices—it practices “cost leadership” in management-guru-speak. That means it wouldn’t take on the challenge of reducing antibiotic use in its poultry supply unless the company was convinced both that it wouldn’t significantly raise the price of a McNugget and that it would be valued by customers. With this latest move, senior management at the fast food chain think that’s likely to apply across its operations worldwide.
And as the world’s second largest purchaser of chicken (after KFC), its buying power has significant potential to transform markets globally. The new company policy will take effect in countries like China and Brazil whose livestock sectors are among the top three consumers of antibiotics in the world. (We did notice, however, that others like India and Mexico—where use is currently high and projected to increase further—didn’t make McDonald's list.)
McDonald's is not the only one taking action. As of June 2017, 11 of the 15 top US fast food chains had committed to phasing out routine antibiotic use in their chicken supplies. And the six largest US school districts—Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, Miami-Dade, New York City, and Orlando County—announced that they would demand antibiotic-free chicken when they next renew contracts with food vendors. In turn, poultry producers such as Perdue are reducing or eliminating antibiotic use in their flocks. This is only the start—and beef and pork both present larger challenges—but the move to antibiotic-free sourcing could have far-reaching global implications.
Customers are pushing the food industry to act based on a range of motivations beyond concerns with global antimicrobial resistance, including fear of consuming antibiotic residues and awareness of animal welfare issues. But whatever their reasons, they are making a difference. And if more companies follow in McDonald’s footsteps that would help set the stage for worldwide cooperation against a major health threat. So, this really is a case where it makes sense to think local about a global issue. Next time, before you order, ask ‘is it antibiotic-free?’
Here we are, deep in the throes of summer, which hopefully means you have finished your planned holiday books and are in need of another good read or two! But what should you choose? We asked CGD experts to share their recommendations. Check out the list below to find what fits your mood, whether that's a deep dive into migration policy, a surprising look into Machiavelli's life, or a techno-utopian, time-traveling adventure (I know what gets my vote!).
If you'd like to get more reading recommendations from CGD, you can also sign up for our weekly Friday "What We're Reading" newsletter.
"A love story set amidst the colonial evils of Dutch-ruled Indonesia. Transcribed from stories the author told his fellow inmates while a political prisoner in the 1970s, and beautifully translated. At once vivid historical fiction and haunting social commentary." – Jonah Busch
"This book makes the migration policy crisis comprehensible through the epic journalistic feat of personally accompanying one Syrian man from Egypt all the way to Sweden. If you have policy ideas about how to address the crisis, see if they survive reading Kingsley's deeply engaged account." – Michael Clemens
"Beckert explores the early stages of globalization and the industrial revolution through the lens of the cultivation, processing, and trade of cotton and cotton textiles. He also focuses on the links to the slave trade in the early days of the cotton trade, and the changing fortunes of India, China, and other developing countries as their roles in the 'cotton empire' shifted over the centuries." – Kimberly Ann Elliott
"I'm not normally a fan of sci-fi, so I wasn't expecting to get into this time-travel/alternate-reality book, but I did. In this novel, Tom Barren runs into a time-travel mishap when he leaves his techno-utopian, idealistic 2016 world of flying cars and moving sidewalks behind and changes history so that he ends up stranded in our 2016. Mastai's piece is a thought-provoking, funny, and entertaining novel that's a perfect read for any vacation." – Rebecca Forman
"Fictional short stories about people haunted by abrupt failure in the wake of rapid success. The most famous story concerns Lonesome Rhodes, who rises from itinerant Arkansas guitar picker to local media rabble-rouser to TV superstar and political king-maker. Whether you read the book or not, you must see the movie, A Face in the Crowd, directed by the amazingly talented Elia Kazan, which underscores the role of the media in electing our most prominent politicians and invites viewers to draw parallels to the current situation in the United States." – John Hurley
"Alexievech documents ordinary Russia after the fall of the Soviet Union and their experience with revolution, capitalism, and Putin. It reads less like a history book and more like an oral history—unassuming, frank, and raw. It's a fascinating investigation into modern Russia, and it contains all these insightful nuggets on democracy, capitalism, and revolution that are surprisingly relevant for American politics." – Jared Kalow
"A fascinating account of Machiavelli's life and lifelong struggle to restore Florence as a republic. He emerges as a more complex figure than you might think from reading The Prince—as interested in justice, freedom, and the rule of law as in power. On his deathbed, he is said to have claimed he'd rather be in hell with Plato, Plutarch, and Tacitus than in a heaven that banished them." – Nancy Lee
"The late-night TV host tells the stories of his childhood in the slums of Johannesburg where, being racially mixed, he belonged to no group. He finds his way through to his teenage years through tenacity, the unwavering support of his mother, and a preternatural sense of the absurdity of societal norms. It is a very funny and touching book. I listened to the book, rather than read it. Noah himself narrates and his theatrical vocal presence was the icing on the cake. Great for a long car trip!" – Mark Plant
"Haasse tells the remarkable story of Charles d'Orléans, a celebrated medieval French poet and prominent nobleman. Head of a family caught up in bitter dynastic strife at thirteen, English prisoner of war at twenty-one, Charles spends much of his life struggling against forces far beyond his control. And yet, even as his life's joys are snatched from him and his freedom denied for 25 years, the poet finds a way to live his life with dignity and grace. A stunning meditation on nothing less than the meaning of life itself, Haasse's work presents the vibrant, tumultuous world of the later Middle Ages with rare compassion and understanding." – Mallika Snyder
The US agricultural sector is critical to global food security. American farmers account for 25 percent of all corn and wheat exported globally, and the US is the largest foreign aid donor providing assistance to, among other things, improve food production in many developing countries.
Yet, at the same time, many of the US’s agricultural policies can negatively impact people in the rest of the world. In a new book entitled Global Agriculture and the American Farmer: Opportunities for US Leadership, CGD visiting fellow Kim Elliott argues for practical policy reforms in three areas that are particularly damaging to developing countries: food aid, biofuel subsidies, and antibiotic resistance in livestock.
As the US Congress works through a major new farm bill, Elliott joins the CGD Podcast to discuss how the US can reform agricultural policy to achieve better outcomes.
“The Trump budget actually zeroes out the main food aid program,” Elliott tells me in the podcast. “So that seems to me to open up a space for Congress to say, ‘Well, we recognize there are some inefficiencies. But let’s fix it, not end it.”
Click below to hear some of Elliott’s recommendations, and check out the full podcast at the top of this page.
Trade is a key tool to bring food security to an estimated 800 million people around the world that remain chronically
undernourished. Many countries need reliable access to international markets to supplement their inadequate domestic food supplies. Better
policies to make agriculture in developing countries more productive and profitable, including via exports, would also help alleviate food insecurity and
reduce poverty. Stronger international trade rules would help by constraining the beggar-thy-neighbor policies that distort trade, contribute to price
volatility, and discourage investments in developing-country agriculture.
Is there any reason to think trade negotiations are more likely now than in the past to encourage substantial reform of rich countries’ farm policies? This paper looks at the evolution of and current approaches to agricultural policies in rich countries to see if there are lessons from the past that might improve chances for reform this time around.
Kellyanne Conway called him a “man of action” after a whirlwind first week in which President Trump signed 14 Executive Orders and presidential memoranda, covering most of his key campaign issue areas from health to immigration to trade. It should be noted that President Obama signed 13 such orders in his first week, including an order to close the Guantanamo Bay detention camp, which he was unable to achieve in eight years in office.
President Trump’s agenda will undoubtedly face policy hurdles and legal challenges (starting with Saturday’s late night stay of certain measures in his immigration order), but the breakneck pace at which he has wielded the pen signals his intention to carry through his most strident campaign promises.
In a series of blogs, CGD experts have been examining how some of these specific policy intentions could impact development progress. As you would expect from a group of economists, we believe in—and encourage—evidence-based policymaking, and here we look at what the existing evidence and research tell us about how likely these Executive Orders are to achieve the president’s stated goals.
On Friday night, President Trump signed an executive order temporarily banning refugees and citizens of seven majority Muslim nations from entering the United States. Our research shows this ban will result not only in serious harm to the world’s most vulnerable, but will also alienate allies the United States needs to fight violent extremism and protect American interests.
Some months after the attacks of September 11, 2001, the US government shut down all unofficial, unmanned border crossings with Mexico. In 2013, that crossing was reopened. The re-opening has been a win-win for people on both sides of the border. But with Trump’s executive order calling for construction of the border wall, much remains to be seen in the realm of US-Mexico cooperation.
The New York Timesreported last week that the Trump Administration is considering a new Executive Order that mandates cutting all funding to bodies that give full membership to the Palestinian Authority and fund abortion amongst other categories, but also suggests “at least a 40 percent overall decrease” in remaining US funding towards international organizations. The proposed cuts would do almost nothing to reduce the deficit while weakening US national security and international leadership.
On his first day in the office, President Trump signed an executive order reinstating a 30-year-old political hot potato, the “Mexico City Policy." Like many, I will point out that reinstating the global gag rule does not reduce abortion.
By Amanda Glassman, Mayra Buvinic, and Charles Kenny
The scale of the turnout at the Women’s Marches across the world recently, along with President Trump’s early reinstatement of a ban on US funding for organizations that offer family planning services in foreign countries, seem to suggest an administration already at odds with an entire gender. On this podcast, three CGD senior fellows weigh in on the evidence that engaging and empowering women—both at home and overseas—makes good sense, especially in an America-First strategy.
Data on Feed the Future's results are just becoming available, and there is strikingly little independent analysis of the program. While we cannot yet assess the impact on poverty alleviation or improved nutrition, we can assess how Feed the Future performs against its stated objective of offering a new, more effective approach to food security. The integrated agriculture and nutrition approach emphasizes increased selectivity in aid allocations along with country ownership and capacity building to increase the effectiveness and sustainability of the initiative’s impacts. We find the initiative has led to an increase in the share of overall US assistance for agriculture and nutrition, and that the Obama administration has increasingly concentrated this aid in selected focus countries.
Director of the Center for Public Leadership at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, editor-at-large at U.S. News & World Report, and a senior political analyst for CNN, David Gergen joined CGD president Nancy Birdsall, and CGD senior fellows who authored essays in our recent book, The White House and the World: A Global Development Agenda for the Next U.S. President, for a lively discussion of the prospects for improved U.S. development policy under President Barack Obama.
The White House and the World: A Global Development Agenda for the Next U.S. President shows how modest changes in U.S. policies could greatly improve the lives of poor people in developing countries, thus fostering greater stability, security, and prosperity globally and at home. Center for Global Development experts offer fresh perspectives and practical advice on trade policy, migration, foreign aid, climate change and more. In an introductory essay, CGD President Nancy Birdsall explains why and how the next U.S. president must lead in the creation of a better, safer world.
The collapse of the Doha trade talks puts at risk one of the rich world's most important commitments to developing countries: to reform policies that make it harder for poor countries to participate in global commerce. Trade has the potential to be a significant force for reducing global poverty by spurring economic growth, creating jobs, reducing prices and helping countries acquire new technologies. Global Trade and Development, a Center for Global Development Rich World, Poor World brief, explains how the U.S. engages in global trade and how trade affects development and global poverty. Learn more about Rich World, Poor World: A Guide to Global Development
Lifting American trade barriers to Pakistani goods could serve as a useful tool of U.S. foreign policy. Unfortunately, recent proposals to extend duty-free market access for Pakistani exports are extremly limited due to concerns about job loss in the U.S. textile industry. However, this study shows that concerns are exaggerated and that market barriers for all Pakistani goods should be droped.
Scarce resources. Climate change. Population growth. Rising food prices. Feeding the world’s hungry will require a giant leap in agricultural innovation. In a new working paper, senior fellow Kimberly Elliott explores how advance market commitments could pull the private sector into producing for the world’s poor.
Antoine Bouët, David Laborde Debucquet and Elisa Dienesch
This paper examines the potential benefits and costs of providing duty-free, quota-free market access to the least developed countries (LDCs), and the effects of extending eligibility to other small and poor countries.
Despite six decades of trade liberalization, trade policies in rich countries still discriminate against the exports of the world’s poorest countries. Much remains to be done to achieve the goal of meaningful market access for the poorest countries, including reformed rules of origin that facilitate rather than inhibit trade.
While the precise contribution of biofuels to surging food prices is difficult to know, policies promoting production of the current generation of biofuels are not achieving their stated objectives of increased energy independence or reduced greenhouse gas emissions. Reaching the congressionally mandated goal of blending 15 billion gallons of renewable fuels in gasoline by 2015 would consume roughly 40 percent of the corn crop (based on recent production levels) while replacing just 7 percent of current gasoline consumption. The food crisis adds urgency to the need to change these policies but does not change the basic fact that there is little justification for the current set of policies.
In the past fifteen years, the U.S. and other rich countries have strengthened patent protection for pharmaceutical products. In this paper, Carsten Fink describes the global shift in intellectual property policies and employs economic analysis to evaluate its consequences for developing countries. He then offers recommendations for policymakers in developing countries and in the United States who seek to better reconcile innovation incentives and access needs.
Is there any reason to think trade negotiations are more likely now than in the past to encourage substantial reform of rich countries’ farm policies? This paper looks at the evolution of and current approaches to agricultural policies in rich countries to see if there are lessons from the past that might improve chances for reform this time around.