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  • Backgrounder posted October 1, 2014 by Brett D. Schaefer, Steven Groves, James M. Roberts Why the U.S. Should Oppose the Creation of an International Anti-Corruption Court

    The idea that “grand corruption” by world leaders and powerful individuals able to shield themselves from domestic accountability should be considered a crime against humanity has percolated for years among anti-corruption advocates and international law experts. As these advocates argue, the destructive impact of grand corruption, which they argue contributes to extreme…

  • Issue Brief posted September 25, 2014 by Ryan Olson Obama Should Push Modi on Trade Facilitation

    This week President Barack Obama will welcome new Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Washington for their first bilateral summit. In Geneva, the Trade Facilitation Preparatory Committee of the World Trade Organization (WTO) will also be meeting. The timing of these two events provides an opportunity to measure India’s commitment to trade freedom and to push Modi to…

  • Backgrounder posted September 17, 2014 by Theodore R. Bromund, Ph.D., Luke Coffey, Bryan Riley The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP): Economic Benefits and Potential Risks

    In February 2013, President Barack Obama called for a free trade agreement between the United States and the European Union during his State of the Union address. This proposed agreement is now known as the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). The President’s announcement has been taken by politicians and commentators on both sides of the Atlantic as an…

  • Backgrounder posted September 12, 2014 by Bryan Riley Foreign Export Credit Subsidies: Kill Them, Don’t Copy Them

    Many supporters of the U.S. Export–Import Bank (Ex–Im Bank) assert that the bank serves a legitimate purpose as a response to export subsidies provided by foreign governments. For example, according to National Association of Manufacturers President and Chief Executive Officer Jay Timmons, The size and scope of the Ex–Im Bank pales in comparison to the official export…

  • Backgrounder posted September 10, 2014 by Ryan Olson The Generalized System of Preferences: Time to Renew and Reform the U.S. Trade Program

    On July 31, 2013, the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP)—the U.S. trade program designed to promote trade in developing countries—expired without renewal for the eighth time in its 30-year history. Over the past year, imports entering the U.S. under the program have incurred higher tariff rates, increasing costs for producers and consumers. Originally designed as a…

  • Commentary posted September 10, 2014 by Anthony B. Kim, Brett D. Schaefer Why are we aiding countries that oppose U.S. priorities at the United Nations?

    Ambassador Jeane Kirkpatrick was frustrated. Countries happily took American foreign aid, but then blithely opposed U.S. initiatives and priorities in the United Nations. They took U.S. aid for granted because previous opposition hadn’t affected U.S. aid decisions and, instead, yielded to pressure from other countries to present regional solidarity and overwhelmingly…

  • Issue Brief posted September 2, 2014 by Brett D. Schaefer, Anthony B. Kim Congress Should Link U.N. General Assembly Voting and Foreign Aid

    Congress has long been concerned that countries receiving American foreign aid frequently oppose U.S. initiatives and priorities in the United Nations. Since 1983, Congress has required the U.S. Department of State to prepare an annual report on the frequency with which other countries vote with the U.S. in the U.N. General Assembly (UNGA). In the three decades that…

  • Issue Brief posted August 4, 2014 by Brett D. Schaefer, Charlotte Florance, Anthony B. Kim Setting a Course for Obama’s Rudderless Africa Policy

    A‌frican leaders and citizens had great expectations ‌in 2008 that the election of President Barack Obama would elevate the prominence of Africa and its concerns in U.S. government deliberations. These expectations have not been met with concrete policy action. During President Obama’s first four years in office, he spent less than 24 hours in Africa, making a brief…

  • Issue Brief posted July 29, 2014 by Brett D. Schaefer, Charlotte Florance, Anthony B. Kim Congress Should Upgrade the African Growth and Opportunity Act

    The House Ways and Means Trade Subcommittee will convene a timely hearing on the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) on July 29. The hearing takes place at a critical juncture for America’s engagement with Africa. AGOA, first enacted under President Bill Clinton and amended and extended by legislation three times under President George W. Bush, enjoys broad…

  • Issue Brief posted July 23, 2014 by Brett D. Schaefer, Ambassador Terry Miller U.N. Repeating Past Mistakes in New Sustainable Development Goals

    The United Nation General Assembly is poised to adopt a new set of development criteria called the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) this September.[1] The SDGs are intended to replace the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) that expire at the end of 2015. Like the MDGs, the SDGs will involve a number of objectives that will be used by the U.N. to guide and measure…

  • Issue Brief posted June 10, 2014 by Anthony B. Kim, Curtis S. Dubay FATCA Hurts Law-Abiding Americans Living Abroad

    On July 1, the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) will fully take effect. FATCA is supposed to reduce tax evasion by making it harder for tax cheats to abuse tax havens. In practice, however, FATCA is forcing law-abiding American taxpayers residing overseas to bear enormous financial and legal burdens. Congress should reform FATCA so that it does not hurt innocent…

  • Backgrounder posted June 5, 2014 by Bryan Riley U.S. Trade Policy Gouges American Sugar Consumers

    On March 28, 2014, attorneys for U.S. sugar growers charged Mexican sugar growers with “dumping” sugar in the United States at unfair prices. Although the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) eliminated tariffs between the United States, Mexico, and Canada, a loophole allows domestic producers to request anti-dumping duties to protect them from international…

  • Issue Brief posted June 5, 2014 by Bryan Riley, Donghun Yu The Truth about NAFTA: Lessons for Trade Negotiations

    In 1993, critics of the proposed North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) made dire predictions about what would happen if Congress approved it. However, wiser heads prevailed, and NAFTA took effect on January 1, 1994. Today, the same misguided arguments are being used in connection with new free trade agreements such as the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP)…

  • Commentary posted May 29, 2014 by Ambassador Terry Miller IMF reforms give Ukraine chance to shed past corruption

    The reforms demanded by the International Monetary Fund and European Union provide the best chance for Ukraine to overcome the legacy of socialism and corruption that have left its people impoverished and its economy the least free in Europe. Like any country populated with real people with diverse backgrounds, needs and skills, Ukraine's political and economic problems…

  • Issue Brief posted May 23, 2014 by Bryan Riley, Brett D. Schaefer Congress Should Reject Proposed Food Aid Shipping Mandate

    The U.S. House of Representatives approved the Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation Act of 2014 (H.R. 4005) on April 1. Largely unnoticed, H.R. 4005 would reverse reforms adopted in the Surface Transportation Extension Act of 2012 and the Agriculture Act of 2014 and increase the amount of U.S. food assistance required to be shipped on U.S. vessels from 50 percent to 75…