Global Economy

Panama Canal cargo capacity will double by 2016.

The largest 1,000 of the world’s 5,100 container ships are now too big for the Canal, and they account for half of all world container capacity. And the Canal can handle only 6 percent of the world’s LNG tankers, which implies a sharp limit on future shipments of natural gas from the American Gulf Coast to China and Japan. Hence the Canal is being redug.

Read More
Technology & Innovation

21st-Century Trade Policy: The Internet and the Next Generation’s Global Economy

The question the uniquely ‘21st-century’ aspects of policy can help answer is about the nature of the global economy of 2030: perhaps one in which the Internet helps create a more affluent, more pluralistic, and more humane global economy; or, alternatively, one in which the digital world fragments, thickens, and ultimately comes to mirror the divisions of the physical world.

Read More
Agreements & Legislation

Testimony to the International Trade Commission: AGOA at 14

We are now approaching a decade likely to pose more challenges for Africa than did the last – commodity prices are down, the U.S. becoming more self-sufficient in energy, and Chinese growth rates fading a bit – and in which Africa will likely need to rely more heavily on domestic demand and exports of value-added good than it has since 2000. The next version of AGOA should thus focus on areas that the first generation missed. This in particular should be trade facilitation.

Read More
Agreements & Legislation

The last WTO agreement was in 1998.

With the U.S, Europe, Japan, China, and other members busy negotiating regional agreements with themselves, the Bali meeting and its agenda may be the WTO’s last chance in this decade to preserve its central role, as the world takes up trade questions from tariff cuts to help for the poor, agricultural reform, Internet trade, and more.

Read More
Smart Power

Pirate attacks on shipping off Somalia are down by 95 percent since 2011.

Combined Task Force 151, a six-vessel rotating patrol now led by the U.K.’s Royal Navy and featuring American, Australian, Turkish, Korean, and Pakistani ships, has cut attacks by well over 90 percent. Pirates have boarded only one merchant ship this year – an Indian dhow with 14 crewmen, which was rescued within hours, without casualties, by Dutch and Swedish warships.

Read More
At Home

U.S. exporters lose as much to excess U.S. port costs in New York as to European tariffs.

As U.S. export growth droops, the administration’s hope to double exports by 2014 is receding from view. Second-term trade strategists need some new ideas – and can turn to P.E.’s newest research paper, “Trade Facilitation as Growth Tool”, to find them. The paper outlines ways to lower use the relatively uncontroversial Customs Bureau reauthorizing bill and the WTO’s “trade facilitation” talks to reduce the cost of exporting.

Read More
At Home

Trade Facilitation as Growth Tool

The phrase ‘trade facilitation’ evokes images of paperwork, quiet bureaucrats, the roar of cargo-jet takeoffs, and the clank of moving cranes – that is, routine policy implementation on one hand, and private business on the other, both to be managed by specialists. But trade facilitation is also a policy matter, where paperwork and outdated procedures are large barriers to exports. and simple domestic reforms can offer as much as tariff elimination abroad.

Read More
At Home

Cost to export one container of goods, New York to London: ~$3,000.

From the World Bank & World Economic Forum, Jan. 2013:

“An ambitious (but still incomplete) improvement in two key components of supply chain barriers – border administration, and transport and communications infrastructure – with all countries raising their performance halfway to global best practice, would lead to an increase of approximately $2.6 trillion (4.7%) in global GDP and $1.6 trillion (14.6%) in global exports.”

Read More