Trade Wars of United States Biswajit Dhar

In the past few months, President Donald Trump has authorised a series of protectionist measures, the likes of which have not been seen in the postwar decades. The first salvo was fired in early March 2018, with the imposition of tariffs on imports of steel and aluminium from all countries except its immediate neighbors, Canada and Mexico. The President of the United States (US) then turned his attention to China, announcing that relatively high tariffs would be imposed to counter, what he perceived was “unfair” trade practiced by the second largest economy. Both acts of protectionism were promptly responded to…

Has Donald Trump Already Changed US Trade? C.P. Chandrasekhar and Jayati Ghosh

There is no doubt that President Trump is upending global trade. He has unleashed a trade war with China as well as with some of the US’ s purported allies, using grounds of “threats to national security” to impose tariffs on many US imports. The likely retaliation will obviously affect some US exports in turn. The trajectory of world trade suddenly looks quite uncertain – and this will also depress investment across the trading world. So the Trump effect on world trade is clearly just beginning. But the naked self-interest of Trump’s moves, the “America first” orientation declared by the…

One Belt, One Road, One Grand Design? Jayati Ghosh

It is a truism of history that rising powers tend to be the ones valorising “free” trade and more open and integrated national economies, just as waning powers tend to turn inwards. So it is no surprise that over the past half year, as the United States elected a President with an avowedly protectionist agenda (even if relatively little has been acted upon so far), China’s President has become the chief advocate of globalisation and more extensive trade and investment links across countries. This drumbeat reached a crescendo in mid-May 2017, at a summit in Beijing to celebrate the official…

The Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement: Some Critical Concerns Jomo Kwame Sundaram

The Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) involves twelve Pacific Rim economies of varying sizes and structures. Although often portrayed as a free trade agreement, the TPPA can, at best, be expected to deliver paltry overall growth gains from trade liberalization. The much higher figures touted by TPPA advocates are largely due to dubious ‘non-trade measures’, most of which have been rejected by the US International Trade Commission (ITC). Nevertheless, the ITC expects significant growth due to greatly increased foreign direct investment, which is exaggerated. The TPPA also brings costs and risks to developing countries threatening their development prospects as well as…

Poverty Cut by Growth Despite Policy Failure Jomo Kwame Sundaram

At the UN Millennium Summit in September 2000, world leaders committed to halve the share of people living on less than a dollar a day by 2015. The World Bank’s poverty line, set at $1/day in 1985, was adjusted to $1.25/day in 2005, an increase of 25% after two decades. This was then re-adjusted to $1.90/day in 2011/2012, an increase by half over 7 years! As these upward adjustments are supposed to reflect changes in the cost of living, but do not seem to parallel inflation or other related measures, they have raised more doubts about poverty line adjustments. The…

The Impacts of the 2008 Global Financial Crisis on Developing Countries: The case of the 15 most affected countries Hasan Comert and Esra Nur Ugurlu

[Working Paper No. 03/2015] From their analysis of the impact of the recent global crisis, the authors show that the trade channel was the most important mechanism in the transmission of the crisis from advanced economies to developing countries. WP_03_2015 (Download the full text in PDF format)

The US Economy Needs an Exports-Led Boost Dimitri Papadimitriou

A recent visit by President Obama to an Ohio steel mill underscored his promise to create 1 million manufacturing jobs. On the same day, Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker announced her department’s commitment to exports, saying “Trade must become a bigger part of the DNA of our economy.” These two impulses — to reinvigorate manufacturing and to emphasize exports — are, or should be, joined at the hip. The U.S. needs an export strategy led by research and development, and it needs it now. A serious federal commitment to R&D would help arrest the long-term decline in manufacturing, and return America…

The Political Economy of Indian Food Exports C.P. Chandrasekhar and Jayati Ghosh

The article discusses the political economy configurations that permit rising grain exports from India, even as domestic food prices spiral out of the reach of ordinary people. Food_Exports (Download the full text in PDF format) (This article was originally published in the Business Line, April 1, 2013)

David Cameron’s Bad Date in Delhi Jayati Ghosh

Suddenly India is being wooed again. In the space of a few days, both François Hollande and David Cameron have turned up on its doorstep with palms outstretched in the search for business contracts. It will have come as a soothing balm to an Indian government facing increasing disillusion at home and growing cynicism on the part of investors abroad. In their foreign dealings, Indian policymakers must feel as if they are on a seesaw with changing partners of varying weights on the other side. There was a period, especially in the last decade, when theyIndia's policymakers could do no…