Morning Brief: U.S. Pressured to Adopt Int'l Accounting Standards

Morning Brief: U.S. Pressured to Adopt Int'l Accounting Standards

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The United States faces renewed calls from other G20 countries to adopt international accounting standards (Reuters), with the intention of providing uniformity and improved transparency for both global regulators and investors. Washington has delayed making the transition under pressure from Congress and business groups concerned over sovereignty issues.

Corporate regulation and taxation. Read more from top economists and business experts on solutions for addressing corporate tax reform.

Education and Human Capital

Ten States Receive 'No Child Left Behind' Waiver

The White House granted the requests of ten states-- Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, Oklahoma, and Tennessee—to opt out of requirements under the 2001 education reform law known as "No Child Left Behind" (CNN). The respective states agreed to undertake their own individual reforms in exchange for the exemption.

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

International Trade and Investment

U.S. Retailers Court Int'l Shoppers

A group of high-end U.S. retailers, including Bloomingdale's, Saks, and Macy's, have effectively lobbied the federal government into shortening the period well-heeled shoppers from China and Brazil must wait to obtain a visa (BusinessWeek). In January, President Barack Obama directed the State Department to find a way to reduce the average wait time for visa interview appointments from as much as four months to three weeks. Over two million international shoppers are expected to come to the United States this year under the new program.

In this Policy Innovation Memo, CFR's Edward Alden and Liam Schwartz recommend a visa screening system that will benefit U.S. security and the economy by focusing scrutiny on high-risk travelers and speeding approval for low-risk ones.

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


U.S. Nuclear Power to Break New Ground

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (WashPost) approved a construction and operating license for two new reactors at an existing nuclear power plant in Georgia—the first such license granted in nearly thirty-five years. The new reactors, which are expected to come online in 2016-17, are not seen as the vanguard in a renaissance of nuclear power. Almost all of the 31 plants proposed in recent years have been sidelined because of cheaper energy alternatives, prohibitive construction costs, and safety concerns following Japan's nuclear disaster.

Infrastructure. Read more on how upgrading the nation’s aging network of roads, bridges, airports, railways, and water systems is essential to maintaining U.S. competitiveness.

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