Internet Regimes and WTO E-Commerce Negotiations. Congressional Research Service. Rachel F. Fefer. January 28, 2020.
From retail to agriculture or healthcare, digitization has affected all sectors and allowed more industries to engage with customers and partners around the globe. Many U.S. companies thrived in the initial online environment, which lacked clear rules and guidelines, quickly expanding their offerings and entering foreign markets. As the internet has evolved, however, governments have begun to impose national laws and regulations to pursue data protection, data security, privacy, and other policy objectives. The lack of global rules and norms for data and digital trade is leading to differences in these domestic internet regimes. Competing internet regimes and conflicting data governance rules increase trade barriers and limit investment flows and international commerce, restricting the ability of U.S. businesses and consumers to enter and compete in some markets. For example, foreign internet regimes may use national security regulations to block cross-border data flows, disrupting global supply chains and limiting the potential use of and gains from emerging technologies. The creation of national technology standards can also limit market access by foreign firms.
As the digital economy expands, the diversity in digital rules is poised to grow in complexity and create new trade restrictions. The resulting patchwork of technical standards and national systems creates challenges for international trade, and may signal an impending fracturing of the global internet. Without agreement on global norms or common trade rules, some analysts foresee a splitting of the internet into distinct nation-led “dataspheres” and virtual trading blocs.
[PDF format, 29 pages].
Perspectives on the Global Economic Order in 2019; A U.S.-China Essay Collection. Center for Strategic & International Studies. Matthew P. Goodman et al. October 18, 2019
For many years, the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) and the Shanghai Institutes for International Studies (SIIS) have had a broad and productive relationship exploring critical issues in the U.S.-China relationship and in global affairs. Since 2015, we have cohosted the U.S.-China Dialogue on the Global Economic Order, a track 1.5 dialogue that has sought to build mutual trust, enhance communication, identify issues, and propose solutions. The series of semiannual workshops, alternating between China and the United States, has covered a wide range of topics, including trade, investment, finance, and technology. The dialogue has drawn scholars, former policymakers, and current officials from the United States and China across a wide range of institutions and disciplines.
This volume consists of a series of parallel essays on the global economic order by U.S. and Chinese scholars who have participated in our dialogue. The value of this text is found not only in the ideas presented by the essayists but also in the opportunity to “listen” to each other as we manage our differences and seek a shared reform agenda for the global economic order. This report starts the journey.
These essays were drafted during the Spring of 2019 and reflect data that may have changed since that period. [Note: contains copyrighted material].
[PDF format, 57 pages].
Global Competitiveness Report 2019: How to End A Lost Decade Of Productivity Growth. World Economic Forum. October 8, 2019.
Ten years on from the global financial crisis, the world economy remains locked in a cycle of low or flat productivity growth despite the injection of more than $10 trillion by central banks. The latest Global Competitiveness Report paints a gloomy picture, yet it also shows that those countries with a holistic approach to socio-economic challenges, look set to get ahead in the race to the frontier. [Note: contains copyrighted material].
[PDF format, 666 pages].
The Western Balkans with Chinese Characteristics. Center for Strategic & International Studies. Heather A. Conley, Jonathan E. Hillman, Matthew Melino. July 30, 2019
In 2012, China and 11 EU countries from Central and Southern
Europe and 5 non-EU members from the Western Balkans met in Warsaw, Poland for
the first time in a “16+1” format to deepen economic cooperation in the areas
of infrastructure as well as information and green technological development.
The occasion was marked by the signing of “China’s Twelve Measures for
Promoting Friendly Cooperation with Central and Eastern European Countries” and
the official launch of the 16+1. Seven years later in Dubrovnik, Croatia, the
format has now grown to “17+1” with the inclusion of Greece. Nearly 40
bilateral deals were announced between China and partner countries, which
included the opening of credit lines between the China Development Bank and
Hungary worth €500 million, Croatia worth €300 million, Romania worth €100
million, Bulgaria worth €300 million, and Serbia worth €25 million.
It could be suggested that this region was in fact an early
test case for the Chinese government’s 2013 announcement of its global Belt and
Road Initiative (BRI), which envisions land and maritime transportation
corridors stretching across and around the Eurasian landmass to Europe.
Certainly, there was a strong infrastructure demand signal emanating from the
region, which grew frustrated when its needs for new roads, modern ports, and
high-speed rail went unmet by Western investment. Having developed the unique,
mixed EU and non-EU 16+1 structure, Beijing could claim to be helping to
“bridge” the EU and non-EU divide. It also gained a high-profile vehicle to
channel a portion of the BRI’s $1 trillion in promised infrastructure
investment. [Note: contains copyrighted material].
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Digital Trade and U.S. Trade Policy. Congressional Research Service. Rachel F. Fefer, Wayne M. Morrison, Shayerah Ilias Akhtar. May 21, 2019
As the global internet develops and evolves, digital trade
has become more prominent on the global trade and economic policy agenda. The economic
impact of the internet was estimated to be $4.2 trillion in 2016, making it the
equivalent of the fifth-largest national economy. The digital economy accounted
for 6.9% of current‐dollar gross U.S. domestic product (GDP) in 2017. Digital
trade has been growing faster than traditional trade in goods and
services. Congress has an important role
to play in shaping global digital trade policy, from oversight of agencies
charged with regulating cross-border data flows to shaping and considering
legislation implementing new trade rules and disciplines through trade
negotiations. Congress also works with the executive branch to identify the
right balance between digital trade and other policy objectives, including
privacy and national security.
[PDF format, 45 pages].
Beyond Neoliberalism: Insights From Emerging Markets. Brookings Institution. Geoffrey Gertz and Homi Kharas. May 1, 2019
Across Western economies, the future of capitalism is
suddenly up for debate. Driven in part by the twin shocks of Brexit and the
election of Donald Trump, the prevailing neoliberal economic model—which
prioritized a light touch regulatory regime, minimal barriers to trade and
foreign investment, and overall a small role for the state in managing the
economy—is under attack from both the left and the right. Will neoliberalism be
displaced? And what will come next?
Around the world, meanwhile, emerging markets have been
grappling with similar questions for decades. Neoliberalism spread unevenly
across emerging markets, and likewise many of them have been moving beyond
neoliberalism for decades. These varied experiences provide valuable insights
into the strengths and weaknesses of neoliberalism and the future of economic
and political policymaking in a post-neoliberal world. If the Washington
Consensus mantra of “stabilize, privatize, and liberalize” has lost relevance
today, what—if anything—has taken its place? How are different countries reevaluating
the relative roles of states and markets in delivering economic development?
Are there new “models” that are generalizable and applicable across countries
and contexts? [Note: contains copyrighted material].
[PDF format, 109 pages].
The World’s Most Dangerous Black Markets: Illegal Trade of Oil and Other Hydrocarbons Flourishes and Poses Serious Environmental and Security Challenges. YaleGlobal. Peri-Khan Aqrawi-Whitcomb, Morgan D. Bazilian and Cyril Widdershoven. October 9, 2018
Prices are climbing for oil, the most traded commodity on global markets and the world’s leading energy source. Much production is in volatile regions, and it comes as little surprise that production and trade in crude oil and refined petroleum products have produced a flourishing illicit market that presents socioeconomic, geopolitical, and environmental challenges, including deterioration of the rule of law. Illegal trade in hydrocarbons also presents a global security concern, funding dangerous non-state actors, ranging from the Islamic State terrorists to Mexican drug cartels, explain Peri-Khan Aqrawi-Whitcomb, Morgan D. Bazilian and Cyril Widdershoven, all associated with the Payne Institute of the Colorado School of Mines. Illicit oil trade harms producers and non-producers, wealthy and poor nations alike. Despite grave implications worldwide for such illegal trade, governmental and industry efforts to halt the practice have so far been ineffective or even non-existent. [Note: contains copyrighted material].
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Debates over Exchange Rates: Overview and Issues for Congress. Congressional Research Service, Library of Congress. Rebecca M. Nelson. June 22, 2018
Exchange rates are among the most important prices in the global economy. They affect the price of every country’s imports and exports, as well as the value of every overseas investment. Over the past decade, some Members of Congress have been concerned that foreign countries are using exchange rate policies to gain an unfair trade advantage against other countries, or “manipulating” their currencies. Congressional concerns have focused on China’s foreign exchange interventions over the past decade to weaken its currency against the U.S. dollar, although concerns have also been raised about a number of other countries pursuing similar policies.
[PDF format, 29 pages].
The Dangerous Inadequacies of the World’s Crisis-Response Mechanisms. Brookings Institution. Adam Triggs. May 4, 2018
The paper war-games crisis scenarios based on past crises to test the adequacy of the global financial safety net: the international institutions and arrangements designated to help economies facing an economic or financial crisis. It calculates the size of the safety net in aggregate terms and from the perspective of each G-20 economy. It explores whether the safety net is large enough, how the different components of the safety net would need to interact during a crisis and how this differs for different countries and regions. For some widespread shocks, the paper finds that the safety net struggles to provide even the same level of support as it has in the past. Even for smaller shocks, multiple components of the safety net need to be coordinated, a process complicated by the differing objectives, mandates and interdependencies of each component. The paper shows how the safety net’s coverage has become patchier, leaving many emerging market and developing economies exposed. It explores what the G-20 could do to strengthen the safety net, reporting the results from in-depth interviews with 61 leaders, central bank governors, ministers and officials from across the G-20, including Janet Yellen, Kevin Rudd, Ben Bernanke, Haruhiko Kuroda, Jack Lew, Mark Carney and 55 others. [Note: contains copyrighted material].
[PDF format, 47 pages].
Do Governments Drive Global Trade Imbalances? Peterson Institute for International Economics. Working Paper 17-15. Joseph E. Gagnon. December 2017
This paper examines the extent to which government policies are responsible for the pattern of current account (trade) imbalances and, by implication, the extent to which such policies might be used to achieve the G-20 goal of reducing imbalances. Fiscal balances and foreign exchange intervention are the most important observable factors behind differences in current account balances across countries and over time. This finding is robust to alternative equation specifications, estimation techniques, and sample selections. The empirical results in this paper strongly suggest that G-20 countries (and others) have the necessary tools to achieve their stated goal of narrowing current account imbalances. [Note: contains copyrighted material].
[PDF format, 26 pages].