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  • Author: Adam S. Posen
  • Publication Date: 01-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: On January 13, Germany's new chancellor, Angela Merkel, will have her first official visit with US President George W. Bush. Washington, or at least the part of Washington that still pays attention to transatlantic issues, not just the Bush administration, will be glad to see her given that she is not her US-bashing predecessor Gerhard Schroeder. Though this change in atmosphere is welcome, no one should make too much of it. It is unlikely to make much difference on security issues, where Iran's own actions are forcing the United States and Germany to come together, where German public opinion will keep the governments apart on Iraq, and where neither country is prepared to make major changes to defense budgets and approaches. The Masri case will certainly limit Merkel's interest in appearing too chummy with Bush on security matters.
  • Topic: Development, Economics
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Europe, Iran, Washington, Germany
  • Author: Gary Clyde Hufbauer, Yee Wong
  • Publication Date: 10-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: Frustrated with lackluster momentum in the WTO Doha Round and the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum, and mindful of free trade agreement (FTA) networks centered on the United States and Europe, Asian countries have joined the FTA game. By 2005, Asian countries (excluding China) had ratified 14 bilateral and regional FTAs and had negotiated but not implemented another seven. Asian nations are also actively negotiating some 23 bilateral and regional FTAs, many with non-Asian partners, including Australia, Canada, Chile, the European Union, India, and Qatar. China has been particularly active since 2000. It has completed three bilateral FTAs—Thailand in 2003 and Hong Kong and Macao in 2004—and is initiating another 17 bilateral and regional FTAs. However, a regional Asian economic bloc led by China seems distant, even though China accounts for about 30 percent of regional GDP. As in Europe and the Western Hemisphere, many Asian countries are pursuing FTAs with countries outside the region. On present evidence, the FTA process embraced with some enthusiasm in Asia, Europe, and the Western Hemisphere more closely resembles fingers reaching idiosycratically around the globe rather than politico-economic blocs centered respectively on Beijing, Brussels, and Washington.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance, Regional Cooperation
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Europe, Washington, Canada, India, Beijing, Asia, Australia, Qatar, Chile, Hong Kong, Brussels, Macao
  • Author: Dan Magder, Dan Magder
  • Publication Date: 08-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: Exporting through international supply chains was a successful way for East Asian countries to develop their textile and apparel industries in the 1970s and 1980s, but it is a less clear route for countries like Egypt trying to compete today. The challenge is particularly acute given the strength of competitors like China, and even more so in the post-MFA era. Some analysts suggest that "lean retailing" increases the importance of geography in exporting in the world of rapidly changing apparel fashion, in a way that could benefit a country like Egypt with its proximity to European end markets. Using a supply chain model, this paper suggests that shortening lead times can indeed have an impact on profits, but that the effect is not tremendous, being in the range of a 0.3 percent to 0.9 percent increase in profits for every week of improvement in lead times. The study also finds that the business environment in Egypt lags key comparator countries in several areas that help the firms compete in global apparel chains, although recent reforms by the Egyptian government are working to address several of these aspects. It concludes by exploring to what extent geography, trade preferences, and local production factors may help Egypt's textile and apparel industry carve out a role for itself in global supply chains, and provide an engine to drive industrial upgrading throughout the country.
  • Topic: Economics, Emerging Markets, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Europe, East Asia, North Africa, Egypt
  • Author: Daniel Gould
  • Publication Date: 06-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: The proposed European Constitution, which was just voted down in France and the Netherlands, is technically a treaty containing far-reaching amendments to the present set of treaties governing the European Union. Article 48 of the EU treaty text currently in force specifies that any such amendments first be unanimously approved by the governments of the member states within an Inter-Governmental Conference framework and then ratified by each country. The first, intergovernmental step of ratification was completed October 29, 2004.
  • Topic: Economics, Government
  • Political Geography: Europe, France, Netherlands
  • Author: Philipp M. Hildebrand
  • Publication Date: 05-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: I am pleased to be in Washington today and would like to thank Fred Bergsten and his colleagues at the Institute for International Economics for providing me with this opportunity to talk about the recently completed gold sales of the Swiss National Bank (SNB).
  • Topic: International Relations, Economics, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Europe, Washington
  • Author: Fred Bergsten
  • Publication Date: 04-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: The dollar has been the dominant currency of the world economy for almost a century for a single overwhelming reason: It had no competition. No other economy came close to the size of the United States. Hence no currency could acquire the network externalities, economies of scale and scope, and public goods benefits necessary to rival the dollar at the global level. A similar situation for the United Kingdom explains sterling's dominance in the 19th century.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: United States, United Kingdom, Europe
  • Author: Michael Mussa
  • Publication Date: 04-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: After surging to the highest growth rate in a generation, world real GDP is set to slow from a rate of just over 5 percent for 2004 to about 4 percent for 2005 and a tad slower for 2006. The economic slowdowns in several important economies in the second half of last year, including much of continental Europe and Japan, already make it clear that year-over-year growth will slow for 2005. But the continued strong growth of domestic demand in other countries, most notably the United States and China, virtually assures that global growth this year will not fall below potential.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: United States, Japan, China, Europe, Israel, East Asia
  • Author: Jacob Funk Kirkegaard
  • Publication Date: 03-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: Once again a specter is haunting Europe—not in the shape that Marx saw it but in the form of outsourcing and offshoring, which allegedly will empty Europe of the highly skilled high-paying jobs of the future. This working paper argues that the specter needs to be dispelled. Today, Europe faces challenges in the form of low productivity growth and low labor utilization/high unemployment. Outsourcing and offshoring, far from being a blight, are powerful tools to help solve the productivity growth problem and may also—provided the right structural reforms are implemented—assist in solving Europe's low employment problem.
  • Topic: Economics, Government, Third World
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Edwin M. Truman
  • Publication Date: 02-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: This note addresses three topics: (1) Do the recent musings by Dooley, Folkerts-Landau, and Garber (DFG), in particular their argument that the world is operating under a revived Bretton Woods system (BW2), provide a useful framework for thinking about international economic and financial developments and prospects? (2) What does the DFG framework imply for the euro area, and are those implications reasonable? (3) What does the DFG framework imply for the United States, and are those implications reasonable?
  • Topic: Development, Economics
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe
  • Author: Peter B. Kenen, Ellen E. Meade
  • Publication Date: 10-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: In May 2004, ten countries are due to join the European Union. They are therefore obliged to join the European Monetary Union (EMU) and adopt the euro as their national currency. Most of them, moreover, have been eager to do that. None of them sought an opt-out of the sort that Britain and Denmark obtained in 1991, when the Maastricht Treaty was drafted. Membership in EMU is not automatic, however, because the accession countries must first satisfy the preconditions contained in the Maastricht Treaty. Although those preconditions are rigorous, and some of the accession countries are still far from meeting them, most of those countries have indicated that they want to enter EMU at the earliest possible date.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Britain, Europe, Denmark