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  • Author: Maya Rostowska
  • Publication Date: 07-2013
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Polish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: The outcome of negotiations for a transatlantic trade deal depends largely on the stance of politicians and stakeholders in the EU and the U.S. An overview of the debate on either side of the Atlantic reveals both sides' respective interests and suggests which areas will prove particularly difficult to negotiate. These include public procurement provisions, data privacy, agricultural issues, and the financial services sector.
  • Topic: Agriculture, International Trade and Finance, Markets, Treaties and Agreements
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Michael McConnell
  • Publication Date: 03-2012
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: East-West Center
  • Abstract: ASEAN countries have long been an important international market for US agricultural exports. The United States, in 2011, exported almost $9.6 billion of agricultural products to ASEAN, making it the sixth-largest export destination for US farmers, ranchers, and agribusinesses—behind Japan ($14 billion) and just behind the European Union ($9.6 billion), but well ahead of South Korea ($7 billion). Moreover, the value of agricultural trade between the United States and ASEAN almost doubled between 2007 and 2011, with the top four ASEAN markets in 2011 for the United States being Indonesia ($2.8 billion), the Philippines ($2.1 billion), Vietnam ($1.7 billion), and Thailand ($1.3 billion). With a population of 614 million and strong economic growth, it is expected that ASEAN will continue to be an important market for US agricultural products. However, the United States is likely to face increasing competition, particularly from China, Australia, and New Zealand, all of which have free trade agreements (FTAs) with ASEAN.
  • Topic: Agriculture, Demographics, Economics, International Trade and Finance, Markets, Food
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Europe, East Asia, South Korea, Australia, Southeast Asia, New Zealand
  • Author: Jim Rollo
  • Publication Date: 05-2008
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: Both Korea and the EU are pursuing free trade areas (FTAs) aggressively as part of their trade policy strategies. Korea is much further down the road. There are strong incentives on both sides to conclude an agreement. However, specific issues and EU's desire to do at least as well as, and preferably better than, the Korea–US FTA may delay or even preclude success. Korea and the EU are not principal suppliers to each other, so while an agreement is predicted to be economically favourable to both sides, the effects are not expected to be very large. Korea has the higher barriers and is expected to make the bigger economic gains. There are sensitive sectors on both sides, notably automobiles for the EU and services and processed foods for Korea. Both sides have important agricultural constituencies to protect. Korea's key role in the East Asian production system suggests that rules of origin could be an area of particular difficulty in the negotiation.
  • Topic: Agriculture, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe, East Asia, Asia, South Korea
  • Publication Date: 07-2008
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: When trade ministers from 35 countries gather in Geneva at the World Trade Organization [WTO] for what is being billed yet again as a last-ditch attempt to forge a Doha trade deal, they will be forced to meet an unwelcome guest: the 2008 US Farm Bill. With a host of newly bolstered subsidies that will hurt farmers in developing countries, as well as higher farm payment rates, squeezing the new Farm Bill into the 'boxes' defined under existing WTO obligations will be a remarkable trick. That speaks poorly about the willingness of the US to accept new disciplines on agricultural subsidies, and demonstrates that the US Congress is unwilling - thus far - to take the necessary steps for a new trade agreement that would prioritize development.
  • Topic: Agriculture, International Organization, International Trade and Finance, Markets, World Trade Organization
  • Political Geography: Geneva, United States
  • Publication Date: 03-2007
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: Mali is one of the world's poorest countries, with over two-thirds of the population – mostly in rural areas – living on less than a dollar a day. Mali is also the second largest cotton producer in sub-Saharan Africa after Burkina Faso. Cotton production is generally heralded as a success story in much of West and Central Africa, providing a critical development strategy for poor African countries such as Mali and enabling both governments and farm households to access income. The World Bank, International Monetary Fund (IMF), and the wider donor community have also recognised the importance of cotton in reducing poverty and supporting the country's economy. However, in recent years, much of this success has been undermined by depressed and volatile cotton prices, partly as the result of unchecked US subsidies, and the downward trend of commodity prices.
  • Topic: Agriculture, International Organization, International Trade and Finance, Treaties and Agreements, World Trade Organization
  • Political Geography: Africa, United States, Mali
  • Publication Date: 10-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
  • Abstract: Brazil is a major player in the global economy, one of the world's 10 largest economies, with a population of 180 million and vast natural resources. Brazil's agricultural land is exceeded only by China, Australia and the United States, and agriculture plays an important role in the country's economy. Primary agriculture accounts for 8% of GDP, while agricultural products account for about 30% of exports.
  • Topic: International Relations, Agriculture, Economics
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Brazil, South America, Australia
  • Publication Date: 04-2004
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
  • Abstract: Economic performance over the past two decades has been impressive. Underpinned by an increased reliance on competitive forces, which have been stronger than in most other member countries for some time, productivity and output have accelerated significantly. In recent years, helped by timely macroeconomic policy responses, the economy has demonstrated its capacity to adjust to adverse shocks, so that the per capita growth gap against other countries has widened further. The outlook is for this to continue in the next few years, with real GDP expanding by around 4 per cent per annum. Nonetheless, there are a number of challenges that need to be addressed to sustain these laudable economic outcomes. By far the top priority is to confront the current and projected federal budget deficits. The fiscal stimulus of the past few years has been helpful in supporting the recovery, but if public dissaving is not reduced, interest rates may be higher, ultimately implying slower growth in economic potential. Increased budget discipline, and indeed significant reform on both the spending and revenue sides of the budget, will be necessary because of the impending demographic pressures on government finances. Corrective fiscal measures will also assist the unwinding of the current account deficit, which is unusually large for this stage of the cycle. As the Federal Reserve begins to move the federal funds rate back to a more neutral level, it will need to be especially attentive to the clarity of its communications with the markets. Further corporate-governance and accounting reforms would help to underpin confidence of domestic and foreign investors, thereby facilitating orderly current-account adjustment. Less reliance on import restrictions and maintaining a leadership role in trade liberalisation would favour structural adjustment at home. Furthermore, despite the generally pro-competitive thrust of antitrust and other regulatory policies, a number of areas deserve attention, notably intellectual property rights, telecommunications and electricity, where further reforms would be welfare enhancing.
  • Topic: Agriculture, Economics, Environment, Human Rights, International Organization, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Lex Rieffel
  • Publication Date: 12-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Brookings Institution
  • Abstract: The Peace Corps is one of the smallest instruments in the foreign policy toolkit of the United States. It is a “boutique” agency with a superb reputation. The Bush administration has proposed doubling the number of Peace Corps volunteers working in developing countries to 14,000 by 2007, still below the 1966 peak of over 15,000 volunteers.
  • Topic: Conflict Prevention, Agriculture, Peace Studies
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Rachel Stohl, Christopher Hellman, Tomas Valasek, Leigh Josey, Nicholas Berry
  • Publication Date: 09-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Defense Information
  • Abstract: Political strife is nothing new in the Middle East. In fact, many of the present-day disputes date back 100 years or more. But the increasing scarcity of renewable water resources and the simultaneous high population growth add new urgency to the necessity to devise a settlement.
  • Topic: International Relations, Agriculture, Demographics, Environment
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East