from Renewing America

Morning Brief: Ex-Im Bank Extension Signed

President Barack Obama signs the extension of the Export-Import Bank at the White House on May 30, 2012 (Kevin Lamarque/Courtesy Reuters).

May 31, 2012

President Barack Obama signs the extension of the Export-Import Bank at the White House on May 30, 2012 (Kevin Lamarque/Courtesy Reuters).
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Blog posts represent the views of CFR fellows and staff and not those of CFR, which takes no institutional positions.

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President Obama signed into law an extension of the Export-Import Bank (NYT), passed by Congress with bipartisan support on May 15.  The measure extends Ex-Im’s charter to September 2014 and raises the bank’s lending limit from $100 billion to $140 billion over three years.  Critics have argued that Ex-Im distorts markets and effectively subsidizes exports while exposing taxpayers to default risk (WSJ).  Proponents point to Ex-Im’s profitability, and see it as a counterbalance to foreign subsidies; as Obama put it: “As long as our global competitors are providing financing for their exports, we’ve got to do the same.”

CFR Senior Fellow and Renewing America Director Edward Alden discusses the issues lawmakers faced as they considered Ex-Im reauthorization, including the increasingly aggressive actions of developing countries to finance their exports and Ex-Im’s efforts to match them.

International trade and investment. Read more from leading analysts on the debate over next steps in U.S. trade policy.

Education and Human Capital

Innovative Jobs Programs Slow to Launch

According to Stateline, states are facing delays in using federal unemployment insurance funds for pilot programs to subsidize wages and employer-provided training. Earlier this year, ten states were allowed to experiment with these new approaches, but state officials and some lawmakers are arguing that the Labor Department has made the approval process overly bureaucratic. The federal agency argues it is being appropriately cautious and thorough. Several programs are modeled after the Georgia Works program which will subsidize training of up to twenty-four hours a week for up to eight weeks for qualified individuals.

ManpowerGroup Analyzes Talent Shortages

ManpowerGroup, one of the world’s largest temporary worker agencies, released its report on global talent shortages.  In Asia and the Americas, employers are facing increased difficulty in finding qualified applicants to fill positions.  In the United States, the most difficult roles to fill were skilled trade workers and engineers, highlighting the workforce effects of deemphasized vocational training and mediocre STEM K-12 education.

CFR’s Ted Alden discusses the shortage of skilled workers in the U.S. manufacturing pipeline and the need for firms, governments, and unions to work together to encourage young people to pursue manufacturing careers, and schools to increase relevant education.

Education and human capital. Read more from experts discussing ways to improve U.S. education and immigration policies.


Innovation Misconceptions

A blog post from the Harvard Business Review argues that misconceptions often surround innovation. Many mistakenly equate innovation with creativity; successful innovation requires not only good ideas, but a strategic plan and successful implementation. Just as innovation is not limited to idea generation, it should also not be limited to a select few in an organization, but should involve everyone. Finally, innovation is not only doing the big things, but often starts small.

Innovation. Read more on how the U.S. capacity to innovate could play a chief role in economic growth.

The Morning Brief is compiled by Renewing America contributor Steven J. Markovich.

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