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  • Author: Mary Speck
  • Publication Date: 03-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Illegal trade across the Haiti/Dominican Republic border has serious financial and security implications. Contraband undermines legitimate business on both sides of the border and deprives the public sector—especially the cash-strapped government of Haiti—of much-needed revenues. It also undermines rule of law and public security by fueling corruption and strengthening criminal organizations. After two research trips to both Haiti and the Dominican Republic, CSIS Americas has produced a summary report of the issue of illicit border trade between Haiti and the Dominican Republic, incorporating several case studies and policy recommendations for preventing further cross-border illicit trade and revenue loss.
  • Topic: International Trade and Finance, Regional Cooperation, Border Control, Illegal Trade
  • Political Geography: Caribbean, Haiti, Dominican Republic, North America
  • Author: Mark Sobel
  • Publication Date: 04-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: The Barack Obama administration’s efforts to secure Trade Promotion Authority (TPA), in conjunction with advancing the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), brought into focus a congressional push to associate currency provisions with U.S. trade agreements. Since that time, discussions on the association of currency provisions with trade deals have gained momentum and become a feature of U.S. foreign exchange policy, especially under the Donald Trump administration. What is the historical context for including currency provisions alongside or as part of trade deals in U.S. exchange rate policy? What has actually been done? Is including currency provisions alongside or in trade deals a good idea? How should this be best managed?
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, International Cooperation, International Trade and Finance, Exchange Rate Policy, Trans-Pacific Partnership
  • Political Geography: North America, United States of America
  • Author: William Alan Reinsch, Jack Capotal, Madeleine Waddoups, Nadir Takarli
  • Publication Date: 04-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: In recent decades, supply chains have become more global while bilateral and regional free trade agreements (FTA) have continued to grow in popularity. For free trade agreements to operate as intended— that is, to provide benefits to the member countries—it must be possible for goods to be identified as products of an FTA member and therefore be eligible for preferential treatment. Free trade agreements also are expected to encourage manufacturers outside the agreement’s boundaries to locate production facilities within the countries party to the agreement to take advantage of the preferential treatment for goods produced there. Rules of origin codified in trade agreements play a crucial role in shaping global supply chains by setting out rules to ascertain the origin of a good. The newly negotiated U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) demonstrates the power of rules of origin to force the many businesses that depend on the current trade agreement to alter their supply chains and business models. Analyzing the new rules, the Scholl Chair in International Business finds that the USMCA will bring new costs to both parts and auto manufacturers and consumers and may provide a boon to North American steel and aluminum manufacturers.
  • Topic: International Cooperation, International Trade and Finance, NAFTA, Free Trade, USMCA, Supply Chains
  • Political Geography: Canada, North America, Mexico, United States of America
  • Author: Matthew P. Goodman, Gordon de Brouwer, Shiro Armstrong, Adam Triggs
  • Publication Date: 04-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: The ongoing shift in global economic weight to the Indo-Pacific1 presents tremendous opportunities for the United States and Australia, along with risks and significant challenges. Both countries share a deep strategic interest in working together to keep Asian markets open, contestable, and rules-based. In doing so, Washington and Canberra can help maximize the prosperity and security of the American and Australian people, as well as those in the region. It is an opportunity too great to miss.
  • Topic: International Cooperation, International Trade and Finance, Economic Cooperation
  • Political Geography: Asia, Australia, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Daniel F. Runde, Romina Bandura
  • Publication Date: 04-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: While other countries have ramped up their economic engagement with Africa via trade, investments, and private sector financing, the United States has remained, for the most part, disengaged. Though decades-long U.S. government initiatives in Africa are indicative of longstanding relations, the reality is that these initiatives have not been enough for the United States to compete in the changing development landscape. On December 13, 2018, the Trump administration launched the Prosper Africa initiative, which seeks to open markets for American businesses, grow Africa’s middle class, promote youth employment opportunities, improve the business climate, and enable the United States to compete with China and other nations who have business interests in Africa. This short report discusses some of the challenges and opportunities for U.S. engagement with the continent and presents a series of recommendations for the policymakers driving the Prosper Africa initiative forward.
  • Topic: International Cooperation, International Trade and Finance, Hegemony, Economic Cooperation
  • Political Geography: Africa, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Michael Matera, Pablo Souto, Silvina Vatnick
  • Publication Date: 04-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Formal Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) membership facilitates the design and implementation of public policies, restrains the likelihood of abrupt changes in the rules of the game, lowers the cost of capital, enables harmonization of norms and practices with other countries aimed at fostering trade and investment flows, allows for an active participation in global development forums, and reinforces reputational effects that strengthen businesses’ and consumers’ confidence. However, these benefits can be taken advantage of by countries even before becoming a full OECD member, since the process of accession itself requires that candidate members of the OECD commit to a concrete action plan that serves to promote comprehensive reform of existing laws, regulations, and practices in a wide array of policy areas. Over the last few decades, Argentina’s institutional framework has been weak and ineffective and has failed in improving consistently the well-being of the population. President Macri identified the process of accession to the OECD as one of the key policy priorities of his government in order to begin addressing the country’s institutional weaknesses and to anchor a broad range of important structural reforms that had never been fully undertaken by previous governments. In June 2016, Argentina officially announced its intention to seek formal endorsement of its candidacy for OECD membership and thereby to officially initiate the accession process. In April 2017, Argentina’s minister of the treasury formally announced and presented the Argentina and OECD Action Plan to representatives of the OECD member countries. Since that time, this action plan has been advanced through a large number of policy actions, legal reforms, and analytical work undertaken by Argentine government institutions, both executive and legislative, in close coordination with the OECD Secretariat.
  • Topic: International Trade and Finance, Economic Cooperation, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, OECD
  • Political Geography: Argentina, South America
  • Author: William Alan Reinsch, Jack Caporal, Beverly Lobo, Catherine Tassin de Montaigu
  • Publication Date: 06-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Trade policy is a signature issue for the Trump administration. With the 2020 election campaign shifting into high gear, candidates are being forced to talk about trade whether they want to or not. The president’s frequent comments about trade, along with his imposition of tariffs, are driving the American public to think more deeply about trade and raise their level of understanding of trade policy. For trade wonks, this is a good thing—more people talking and thinking about their favorite subject. For presidential candidates, however, it creates a dilemma: how to criticize the president without alienating the voters who seem to like his trade policy.
  • Topic: International Trade and Finance, Elections, Trade Policy, Domestic Policy
  • Political Geography: North America, United States of America
  • Author: Matthew P. Goodman
  • Publication Date: 07-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: The liberal international order set up under U.S. leadership at the end of World War II has produced enormous economic benefits for both the United States and the rest of the world. But recently, the order has been under severe strain, the result of shifting economic forces at home and challenges from new powers abroad. U.S. leadership remains critical to an international order that delivers broad-based prosperity for Americans and stability abroad. In a new essay collection, CSIS experts on economics, trade, energy, technology, and development share their thoughts on how the United States can reaffirm its leadership through smart policies both at home and abroad.
  • Topic: International Cooperation, International Trade and Finance, Economic Cooperation, Domestic Policy
  • Political Geography: North America, United States of America
  • Author: Scott MacDonald
  • Publication Date: 08-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Suriname is at a crossroads, politically and economically. Once one of the more isolated countries in the Western Hemisphere, it is increasingly being pulled into the region’s affairs. The process of change is coming from external and internal sources, ranging from the potential for major commercial oil finds in its offshore waters and migration of Chinese, Haitians, and Brazilians into the country to the looming 2020 elections and the need for better governance. Moreover, the geopolitical landscape facing Suriname in both the Caribbean and South America has changed, with the advent of what some analysts are calling a new Cold War between the United States on one side and China, Venezuela, and Russia on the other. Suriname has tremendous potential in terms of its development, but tough decisions sit on the horizon. Most Americans would be hard put to find Suriname on the world map. It was Fairfield University political science professor Ed Dew who noted in the preface of his 1994 book on Surinamese politics, “Not long ago, one of my friends said the problem with my work is that it is on a country that is ‘too far off the screen’ of international importance.” Although Dew wrote two books on Suriname, even he admitted that Suriname has been physically isolated, tucked as it is between French Guiana, Brazil, Guyana and the Atlantic Ocean, and largely covered by forests.1 Suriname has also been a bit of an odd man out from the rest of the Western Hemisphere. It is located in South America but is usually considered to be Caribbean. One of the country’s closest relationships has been with a non-Western Hemisphere nation, the Netherlands, its former colonial power. Last, but hardly least, Suriname is the only country in the Americas whose official language is Dutch.2 While it can be argued that some of these factors may explain a different path from South America or even the Caribbean, it can be argued that Suriname is no longer too far off the screen of international importance.
  • Topic: Energy Policy, International Trade and Finance, Oil, Regionalism
  • Political Geography: South America, Suriname
  • Author: William Alan Reinsch, Jack Caporal, Jonathan Robison, Beverly Lobo, Catherine Tassin de Montaigu
  • Publication Date: 08-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: As the race to be the Democratic nominee for president heats up, the second round of debates between the 20 candidates offered the American public a glimpse of the different candidate’s trade policies and their values around the issue. Already we are seeing some trends emerge and divisions widen within the group on trade, which remains in the background compared to hot button policy issues like health care or immigration. Nonetheless, as President Trump continues his trade wars, trade will certainly be a topic of further debate and discussion for the election.
  • Topic: International Trade and Finance, Elections, Trade Policy, Domestic Policy
  • Political Geography: North America, United States of America