Uncertainties abound for the United States’ developing country trade partners in the wake of Donald Trump’s election as president. As I chronicled previously, the US presidential campaign featured plenty of tough rhetoric on trade.
Next Tuesday the Millennium Challenge Corporation’s (MCC) board of directors will hold its final meeting of the year—and the last under the Obama administration. On the docket? Selecting which countries will be eligible for MCC assistance for fiscal year (FY) 2017. For the fourteenth year running, CGD’s MCC Monitor discusses overarching issues that will impact the decisions and offers predictions of which countries will be selected.
Here at CGD, much of what we have to say is based on a core premise that too often goes unstated. Namely, that US development policy, with bipartisan support, has made steady progress over many years as one of the more effective things our government does. It is, day in and day out, advancing US interests around the world and at home. It’s a time of fundamental uncertainty about the future direction of US development policy, so let’s talk fundamentals.
President-elect Trump has a unique opportunity to, finally, make US trade policy more inclusive and fair, and he could start by getting our own house in order. From a domestic standpoint, it is not enough that trade agreements' net benefits are positive.
President-elect Trump will come into office at a time when Americans are more dependent than ever on global cooperation. Today we revisit why effective US leadership on development matters and how it can be improved.
What does the collective wisdom of four USAID administrators have to say about the future of the world’s largest development agency? Three former administrators joined current USAID Administrator Gayle Smith at the USAID Alumni Association’s (UAA) annual general meeting to discuss what they wish they had known before they started the job and what advice they would give a new agency lead.
Global development isn't exactly a campaign issue. But we at CGD hope it's a policy area both presidential transition teams are taking very seriously. The next US president will need to confront and prevent crises where our development and humanitarian assistance is a far more useful (and less expensive) response than guns and bombs. To that end, led by Scott Morris, we at the CGD Rethinking US Development Policy program put together a short memo to the transition teams.
The country scorecards that serve as the basis for MCC country eligibility decisions aren’t complete, but the data for the particularly weighty indicators—including the must-pass Control of Corruption hurdle—is now available. I ran the numbers to get a sneak peek at some of the issues the agency and its board will grapple with over the next few months. Some of what emerged from this number crunching is encouraging—most current partner countries surpass MCC’s standards and some interesting new prospects for partnership emerge. More troubling is that two of the countries currently developing compacts—Kosovo and Mongolia—don’t pass the corruption hurdle.