Primary Sources

Bipartisan Congressional Trade Priorities and Accountability Act of 2015 (TPA-2015)

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), Ranking Member Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and House Ways and Means Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) introduced this legislation on April 16, 2015. The legislation allows the White House to continue pursuing trade deals such as the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) and Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (T-TIP) and allows Congress to vote on the treaties.

See more in United States; Trade; Congresses, Parliaments, National Legislatures


World Economic Update

Speaker: Jerry Lavell Johnson
Speaker: Karen Johnson
Presider: David Trulio

Experts discuss current trends and potential developments in the world economy as part of the 2015 Conference on Diversity in International Affairs.

See more in Global; Economics


Regional Institutions Can Be Good for World Policy

Author: Sheila A. Smith
New York Times

China's new Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank has raised questions about United States policy in Asia. Several European nations, South Korea and Australia have signed on to China's initiative, which seeks to raise $50 billion to $100 billion for Asian development. While the U.S. remains cautious about this new China-led effort to fund infrastructure and development, it should welcome the participation of others.

See more in Asia and Pacific; United States; Banks and Banking; Politics and Strategy

Event Speaker: Robert D. Atkinson
Speaker: Daniel J. Ikenson
Speaker: Robert Blecker
Speaker: Derek Scissors
Presider: Edward Alden

Is the U.S. trade deficit a problem for the United States? If so, does it reflect competitiveness problems that are in part due to trade policies, or is it caused by factors that have nothing to do with trade policies? What are the proper policy responses?

See more in United States; Budget, Debt, and Deficits


Why Did Walmart Raise Its Wages?

Authors: Benn Steil and Dinah Walker
Forbes Online

Benn Steil’s Forbes op-ed with Dinah Walker examines why Walmart is raising its minimum starting wage. Contrary to arguments from popular commentators, there is no logical reason to suggest hidden motives related to political pressure. Walmart remains as relentless on costs as ever; wage pressures in the retail sector, we show, are wholly sufficient to explain the company’s move.

See more in United States; Labor


Three Misconceptions About Inequality

Author: Peter R. Orszag
Bloomberg View

Concern about inequality in the U.S. is getting well-deserved attention. Unfortunately, though, discussions of the problem too often rest on three misconceptions: that capital is rising as a share of the economy, that most of the rise in wage inequality is explained by growing gaps within companies between higher and lower paid workers, and that workers are increasingly moving from one job to another. 

See more in United States; Financial Markets

Primary Sources

One Belt, One Road

Chinese President Xi Jinping announced this initiative in 2013, which aims to connect countries along the original Silk Road and other maritime nations. The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank will lend to countries working on these infrastructure and trade projects. On March 28, 2015, the China's Foreign Ministry released the first edition of the initiative's joint vision and actions.

See more in China; Russia and Central Asia; Trade; Regional Security