11 June 2015

RICE: GLOBAL COMPETITIVENESS OF THE U.S. INDUSTRY. Prepared primarily by John Giamalva and Marin Weaver for the United States International Trade Commission (April 2015). The authors of this report found that rice production varies widely among global producers in three main factors: delivered cost, product differentiation, and reliability of supply. In addition, government intervention and trade policy heavily dictate the commodity’s price trends on global markets, with the authors specifically analysing the heavily protected nature of the industry in many rice-consuming countries and its effect on international rice trade. See the United States International Trade Commission’s website to read the full report.

PIIE CHART: WHAT THE PACIFIC ALLIANCE MEANS FOR CANADA’S TRADE RELATIONS. By Barbara Kotschwar for the Peterson Institute for International Economics (June 2015). The briefing discusses the Pacific Alliance (PA) and Canada’s observations of the Alliance’s liberalisation of labour mobility and the free movement of people. The Alliance currently counts Chile, Colombia, Mexico, and Peru as full members. While Ottawa already has FTAs with Alliance members, joining the group would effectively require Canada to eliminate visa requirements for nationals of all Alliance countries. To learn more, click here.

CHINA IN LATIN AMERICA: LESSONS FOR SOUTH-SOUTH COOPERATION AND SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT. By Rebecca Ray, Kevin P. Gallagher, Andrés López, and Cynthia Sanborn for Tufts University’s Working Group on Development and Environment in the Americas (April 2015). This report discusses the impact China’s influence in Latin American economies is potentially having on natural resources and political development. The authors argue that immediate environmental and social policy options must be enacted to ensure natural resources are protected in the midst of increased economic activity. The full report and individual country studies can be found here.

VARIETIES OF CAPITAL FLOWS: WHAT DO WE KNOW? By Eduardo Levy Yeyati and Jimena Zuniga for Harvard University’s Centre for International Development (May 2015). The volatility of capital flows are the subject of many key policy concerns. The key question this working paper attempts to answer is as follows: “Is equity ‘safer’ than a long domestic currency bond from a macro prudential perspective?” The response reassesses conventional assumptions about foreign direct investments and bonds, while suggesting that the focus should partly be on making a distinction within debt liabilities between local versus foreign currency instruments. To read the entire working paper, click here.

TRACING THE VALUE-ADDED IN GLOBAL VALUE CHAINS: PRODUCT-LEVEL CASE STUDIES IN CHINA. Published by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) (June 2015). The report follows the global value chains (GVCs) of products to explain the complexity of determining the origin of China’s export goods. The authors say that it can no longer be assumed that products are being produced within the borders of the country it is being exported from. Read an overview, or download the full report, at UNCTAD’s website.

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