The United States is currently pursuing two of the largest trade deals in history, the Asia-focused Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the U.S.-EU Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), but concerns persist over the effects of trade on employment, inequality, national sovereignty, and safety standards.
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.
"The Trans-Pacific Partnership would help most Americans economically and serve the country's strategic aims, and deserves the support of Congress," write CFR President Richard N. Haass and former deputy Treasury secretary Roger C. Altman.
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?
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.
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.
Philip Gordon, special assistant to the president and White House coordinator for the Middle East, North Africa, and the Gulf region since 2013, will join the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) as a senior fellow. Based in Washington, DC, his research will focus on U.S. foreign policy toward the Middle East and Europe.
The new House budget sets a deadline of October 1 to “cut waste, eliminate redundancies and end the abuse or misuse of taxpayer dollars,” and it specifically targets the Department of Defense (DOD) for spending “part of their budget studying climate change.” Varun Sivaram highlights how the military’s broad portfolio of climate change adaptation efforts should not be considered redundant or wasteful because it bolsters American national security interests.
The prospect of sanctions relief as part of an Iran nuclear agreement has alarmed some in Congress, but they should see the value of a UN Security Council resolution affirming the deal, says CFR’s John B. Bellinger III.
The China-backed Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank seeks to address a critical infrastructure gap in the region, but it is also a challenge to the existing global economic order, says CFR's Robert Kahn.
Benn Steil’s new Forbes op-ed examines Paul Krugman's data analysis purporting to document definitively that "austerity," defined by declines in real government purchases, damaged growth between 2010 and 2013. He shows that this finding collapses entirely when he excludes countries without independent monetary policies, such as those in the Eurozone. For countries with independent monetary policies, changes in real government purchases had no effect on growth.
The OECD’s approach to bringing in emerging powers as “key partners” is a smart way to remain relevant in a quickly shifting global landscape, argue Stewart Patrick and Naomi Egel. Other multilateral organizations should pay attention.
The Council on Foreign Relations' David Rockefeller Studies Program—CFR's "think tank"—is home to more than seventy full-time, adjunct, and visiting scholars and practitioners (called "fellows"). Their expertise covers the world's major regions as well as the critical issues shaping today's global agenda. Download the printable CFR Experts Guide.
The authors argue that the United States has responded inadequately to the rise of Chinese power and recommend placing less strategic emphasis on the goal of integrating China into the international system and more on balancing China's rise.
Campbell evaluates the implications of the Boko Haram insurgency and recommends that the United States support Nigerian efforts to address the drivers of Boko Haram, such as poverty and corruption, and to foster stronger ties with Nigerian civil society.
Learn more about CFR’s mission and its work over the past year in the 2014 Annual Report. The Annual Report spotlights new initiatives, high-profile events, and authoritative scholarship from CFR experts, and includes a message from CFR President Richard N. Haass. Read and download »