April 21, 2014 |
Many supporters of the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership, or TPP, trade agreement are arguing that its fate rests on President Obama's bilateral talks with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in Japan this week. If Japan and the United States can sort out market access issues for agriculture and automobiles, the wisdom goes, this huge deal - in effect, a North American Free Trade Agreement on steroids - can at last be concluded. But this view obscures the many seemingly intractable problems TPP negotiators are grappling with.
January 26, 2014 |
Paralyzed by ideological divisions, Congress has done little to promote economic growth or reduce unemployment since Republicans took over the House in 2011. One exception has been the approval of free-trade deals with South Korea, Colombia and Panama that lower barriers in those countries to U.S. exports and services. Any further trade deals face a huge hurdle, however: The law setting the ground rules for negotiating and approving such agreements expired in 2007. A bipartisan proposal to update the law is pending in both chambers, and lawmakers should make it a top priority to put a version on President Obama's desk.
January 5, 2014
Re "Where the jobs are," Opinion, Jan. 2 Jeff Danziger's piece is a veiled call for protectionism. He notes that in the last 20 years, the countries around the world that have ditched communism are now producing goods to sell to Americans. He says shipping and communication have become more efficient. He criticizes the government for not protecting American consumers from these foreign products. Danziger presents two straw-man arguments against the protectionism he advocates.
December 2, 2013 |
KIEV, Ukraine - President Viktor Yanukovich appeared to give ground Monday in the face of massive demonstrations that threatened to hobble his government, seeking to reopen talks with the European Union about forging a closer economic relationship. As protesters declared a general strike and blocked access to the government's headquarters in central Kiev, Yanukovich spoke by phone with European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso to ask whether Ukraine could send a delegation to discuss a previously scuttled free trade agreement, the Interfax-Ukraine news agency reported.
September 30, 2013 |
SHANGHAI - The Chinese government officially opened a new free-trade zone here that is long on promise and short on detail about how it will boost the economy. The 11-square-mile zone is in northeast Shanghai in an industrial area near the international airport. Among other features, the zone is supposed to make it easier for foreign companies to open travel agencies, theaters, banks, brokerage houses and telecommunications firms, sell health insurance or make video game gadgets - businesses that ordinarily are restricted to Chinese companies or joint ventures.
September 26, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - The Obama administration is racing to finish negotiations on a Pacific free-trade pact by year's end, but it's running up against a potentially major obstacle at home. A bipartisan majority in the Senate this week sent a letter pressing the administration to address "foreign currency manipulation" in its talks with Japan and 10 other participating nations in the so-called Trans-Pacific Partnership. The Senate letter didn't mention any country. But there has been an outcry in congressional and business circles, particularly the auto industry, over Japan's much-weakened currency.