Views from the Center

CGD experts offer ideas and analysis to improve international development policy. Also check out our Global Health blog and US Development Policy blog.


A Good Start, but the G-20 Must Do More on Trade Preferences for Poor Countries

This is a joint posting with Kimberly Elliott and also appeared on the Huffington Post.

With one important reservation, we welcome last week’s EU proposal that the upcoming Pittsburgh G-20 Summit “should adopt the “Everything But Arms” (EBA) initiative without delay to support people in developing countries suffering from the crisis.” The EBA nominally provides 100 percent duty-free, quota-free market access for exports from least-developed countries, so suggesting that the rest of the G-20 replicate it is clearly in line with a Sept. 2 letter sent by members of the CGD Global Trade Preference Reform Working Group. The letter called upon:

Time to Deliver on Duty-Free, Quota-Free Market Access for the World’s Poorest Countries

This blog entry also appeared on the Huffington Post.

Leaders of the world’s richest nations have repeatedly pledged to offer the world’s poorest countries duty-free, quota-free (DFQF) access to their markets. Such access is one of the most powerful tools that high-income countries have to help poor countries to help themselves. The upcoming G-20 summit in Pittsburgh is an opportunity for the world’s leaders to finally deliver on this promise.

In Kenya, Questions and Suggestions on AGOA

Last week Secretary of State Clinton, U.S. Trade Representative Kirk, Secretary of Agriculture Vilsack, and other U.S. government officials were in Nairobi at the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) Forum, making new and improved promises about the commitment of the United States to African development. I was in Nairobi last week too to moderate our fifth consultation meeting for the CGD Global Trade Preference Reform Working Group.

Re-thinking Trade, Re-creating Consensus

Based on the testimony of USTR-designate Ron Kirk this week before the Senate Finance Committee - brief though it was - the Obama Administration is moving in an entirely different direction than we have seen over the last eight years. The concept of a "progressive trade agenda for America," though as yet undefined, certainly suggests that the administration will be looking at the global economy from a very different perspective.

(Mostly) Good News on Trade Front in Stimulus Compromise

Although we still do not have all the details, CQ Politics is reporting that most of last week's compromise on Trade Adjustment Assistance made it back into the stimulus bill. It had been pulled from the Senate version because of demands from Senator Kyl (R-AZ) that TAA reform be linked to a date certain for voting on the free trade agreement with Colombia.

As Downturn Chokes Trade, Beware Protectionism

The excellent article by Anthony Faiola and Ariana Eunjung Cha in today's Washington Post (Downturn Choking Global Commerce) shows how close we are to the precipice in the global trading system and what is at stake with the trade negotiations in Geneva. Although there has been a long-standing assumption that countries would continue to ride the bike of trade liberalization forward, there are no guarantees. With too little forward motion, bicycles topple.