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Trade is an important driver of economic growth around the world. CGD’s research focuses on how trade policies can support poverty reduction and economic growth in developing economies by promoting market access that opens the door to foreign investment and job creation.
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There has been an unfortunate tendency in this year’s US presidential campaign to make trade policy an “us against them” story. It is true that the US government does not do enough to compensate those who lose from trade, or to help individuals and industries adjust to the changes that more open markets bring. But rhetoric pitting poor people in the United States against even poorer people elsewhere helps neither.
The Trans-Pacific Partnership and Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, if completed and implemented, will cover a large portion of global trade and investment, but they will exclude the majority of developing countries. American and European negotiators also want these deals to be “gold standard” agreements that establish the new rules of trade for a new century. The biggest concern arising from these mega-regional agreements is that they will undermine the rules-based multilateral trading system.
Stitches to Riches is motivated by South Asia’s urgent need to create more and better jobs for a growing population. This book investigates the region’s potential for expanding and improving jobs in the labor-intensive apparel sector. It estimates the effects of rising wages in China on apparel exports, employment, and wages in South Asia, and provides policy recommendations to leverage the sector for greater job creation.
Trade ministers, while attending the World Trade Organization (WTO) meeting in Nairobi, again managed to pull a rabbit out of the hat. Faced with the prospect of complete failure, ministers worked overtime to cobble together a package of mostly small, symbolic agreements at the WTO’s Tenth Ministerial Conference. While the outcome is not being greeted with the same dismay, Nairobi looks more like the Copenhagen summit on climate change than the recent session in Paris, which managed to bridge North-South differences.