14 November 2012

UNTAPPED TRILATERALISM: COMMON ECONOMIC AND SECURITY INTERESTS OF THE EUROPEAN UNION, THE UNITED STATES AND CHINA. By Bates Gill and Andrew Small for the Europe China Research and Advice Network (November 2012). In this paper, the authors point out that the EU, the US, and China - though together comprising over half of global GDP and being major players in the international policymaking arena - will face difficulties in meeting major global and regional challenges effectively unless they work together. Showing that there are strong imperatives for increasing convergence between the three parties on common economic and security interests, the authors state that the EU can play a linchpin role in fostering greater trilateral partnership between the world's three biggest actors but to do so, it will need to step its engagement with the rapidly growing Asia-Pacific region. The full paper is available here.

COMBATING WIDESPREAD CURRENCY MANIPULATION. By Joseph E. Gagnon for the Peterson Institute for International Economics (July 2012). In this policy brief, the author refers to widespread currency manipulation, mainly in developing and newly industrialised economies, as the most important development of the past decade in international financial markets. Defining currency manipulation, the brief shows that the result of this trend is a net drain on aggregate demand in the US and the euro area by an amount roughly equal to the large output gaps in these regions. The author uses this fact to support the statement that millions more Americans and Europeans would be employed if other countries did not manipulate their currencies and instead achieved sustainable growth through higher domestic demand. The full brief is available here.

POLICY OPTIONS FOR LOW-CARBON POWER GENERATION IN CHINA. Published by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and International Energy Agency (IEA) (2012). China faces a dynamic of rapid economic development that drives ever-increasing energy use, primarily of electricity, and consequently increases carbon emissions. It has taken a pledge to curb its emissions intensity, and is exploring various policy approaches to fulfil that aim, including emissions trading. This report explores the conditions needed for effective functioning of a carbon emissions trading system in China's electricity generation sector. It is based on extensive discussions with power generation stakeholders and observers of the electricity sector in China, as well as quantitative analyses of the impact of a carbon emissions trading system (ETS) at plant, company, and provincial levels. The full publication is available here.

HOW CAN TRADE POLICY HELP AMERICA COMPETE? By Robert Z. Lawrence for the Peterson Institute for International Economics (October 2012). In this policy brief, the author states that America deserves credit for not having succumbed to the global financial crisis by repeating the protectionist mistakes of the 1930s. The author argues that the United States needs new initiatives that discipline foreign practices, increase access to foreign markets, revitalise the World Trade Organization, improve the administrative and regulatory environment for trade, and assist workers and communities adversely affected by change. The full brief is available here.

TRENDS AND IMPACTS OF FOREIGN INVESTMENT IN DEVELOPING COUNTRY AGRICULTURE. Published by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (November 2012). This report finds that investment projects that combine the strengths of the investor (capital, management and marketing expertise, and technology) with those of local farmers (labour, land, local knowledge) are the most successful in having positive effects on local economies and social development. The authors argue that business models that leave local farmers in control of their land give them an incentive to invest in land improvements and also favour sustainable development. The publication features a series of case studies on the impact of foreign investment in Africa. To learn more, or to read the report, please click here.

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