Just because a U.S. presidential candidate bashes free trade on the campaign trail does not mean that he or she cannot embrace it once elected. After all, Barack Obama voted against the Central American Free Trade Agreement as a U.S. senator and disparaged the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) as a presidential candidate.
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While the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) would stimulate growth and revitalize the Western democracies, the agreement could potentially have significant geopolitical downsides, argues Charles Kupchan.
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In the 20 years since it entered into force, the North American Free Trade Agreement has been both lauded and attacked in the United States.
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In 1992, when Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney sat down with Mexican President Carlos Salinas and U.S. President George H. W. Bush to sign the North American Free Trade Agreement, free trade was still a matter of fierce national debate in Canadian politics.
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When the North American Free Trade Agreement was proposed, it set off a vigorous debate across the continent about its benefits and drawbacks.
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Tensions between China and Japan are rising, but an economic version of mutual deterrence is preserving the uneasy status quo. Put simply, China needs to buy Japanese products as much as Japan needs to sell them.
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No matter what one thinks should be done about global warming, the fact is, it's happening. And its effects are not all bad. In the Arctic, it is turning an impassible region into an emerging epicenter of industry and trade.
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Despite media hoopla, cross-border crime -- illegal drugs sales, evasion of taxes, intellectual property theft, and money laundering -- is hardly a new phenomenon. For much of history, moreover, the United States was as much perpetrator as victim. Recognizing this awkward truth should help cool down overheated debates about today's transnational problems and how to respond to them.
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The Trans-Pacific Partnership, a massive multilateral trade agreement now in the works that focuses on the Asia-Pacific region, could add billions of dollars to the U.S. economy and solidify Washington's commitment to the Pacific. But if the Obama administration fails to calm critics of the deal, there is a growing possibility that it could collapse.
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It is time to face reality: the current round of multilateral trade talks is doomed.
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Strict export restrictions are making U.S. businesses less competitive and the country less secure. Policymakers must craft new regulations to help, rather than harm, U.S. interests.
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U.S. policymakers can no longer afford to ignore Southeast Asia. The United States should use trade, aid, and education to alleviate poverty and prevent terrorism in the region.
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Despite common assumptions, oil prices are likely to remain low for a while: key producers, especially Saudi Arabia, have been boosting their production, and demand growth in top consumers like the United States and China will be more modest than expected.
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How new deals in the developing world will change the global economy.
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Protectionist sentiment on Capitol Hill threatens to scuttle Washington's free-trade agenda. A bipartisan consensus on trade could emerge, but only if the White House and the Democrats can reach a compromise on labor issues.
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Not long ago, the expansion of free trade worldwide seemed inevitable. Over the last few years, however, economic barriers have started to rise once more. The forecast for the future looks mixed: some integration will probably continue even as a new economic nationalism takes hold. Managing this new, muddled world will take deft handling, in Washington, Brussels, and Beijing.
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