Rank #1: 9: Happy 70th GATTiversary–The Origins of Multilateral Trade
On the occasion of its 70th anniversary, PIIE Senior Fellow Chad P. Bown and Soumaya Keynes of The Economist focus on the origins of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, or GATT. They speak with the authors of “The Genesis of the GATT” (Cambridge University Press)–Professors Douglas Irwin, Petros Mavroidis, and Alan Sykes–about the gripping lead-up to the signing of the transformative trade agreement on October 30, 1947. The American Smoot-Hawley tariffs, British Imperial Preferences, World War II, Lend-Lease Act, John Maynard Keynes, James Meade, the Lacock Scholars, and many others all show up to ultimately shape the deal that governed the multilateral system over the next 70 years.
Oct 27 2017
Rank #2: 57: It’s Fun to Discuss the USMCA—the New NAFTA
Keynes and Bown describe key elements of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement, or USMCA, announced on October 1, 2018. Beneath the spin, they analyze what the deal really does, including where new market access has been granted, and where new rules have been written. Will the new deal generate American jobs in car manufacturing? Will it strengthen Mexico’s labor standards? Will it stop Canada from signing a future trade deal with China?
Oct 05 2018
Rank #3: 66: Paul Krugman Talks Trade
Keynes and Bown sit down with Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman (CUNY and New York Times) in a wide-ranging interview about international trade. They discuss NAFTA, labor standards, and the USMCA (2:25); the current toxicity of trade politics (8:00); the wonky economics of comparative advantage versus increasing returns to scale trade (16:55); when and why the trade world changed (21:30); trade’s impact on US wage inequality (25:10); more wonky economics of strategic trade policy (29:30); China’s trade and industrial policy (34:45); what the Trump administration gets right about trade (39:40); and more.
Soumaya Keynes, Paul Krugman, and Chad P. Bown, New York City, 2018.
Dec 17 2018
Rank #4: 47: WTO S.O.S.–Save our System
Keynes and Bown detail an emerging approach for the European Union, Japan, China—and the Trump administration—to resolve the conflict over subsidies, one of the most pressing challenges confronting the World Trade Organization. They explain the fight over industrial subsidies and analyze the EU-Japan-US approach to tackling problems of notifications, state-owned enterprises, excess capacity, and public bodies.
Jul 21 2018
Rank #5: 45: Zeroing: The Biggest WTO Threat You’ve Never Heard Of
Keynes and Bown explain the outsized importance of “zeroing”—a technical, yet politically controversial method the United States uses to calculate antidumping tariffs. They speak to Thomas Prusa (Rutgers University) about zeroing’s contentious negotiating history, how it works in practice, who is in favor of it, and how much trade is affected by it. They also discuss how the dozens of WTO disputes the United States has lost over this issue set up the current showdown facing the WTO Appellate Body and the future of the trading system.
Jul 03 2018
Rank #6: 55: Is India a Trade Troublemaker?
Keynes and Bown speak with Arvind Subramanian (PIIE, Harvard Kennedy School) about the massive changes in India’s trade policy since the 1980s. They examine the scope and impact of India’s trade liberalization; the importance of its manufacturing, agriculture, and services trade; its controversies within the WTO, and its own complex relationship with China. They also discuss Arvind’s time as chief economic adviser to the government of India and some of the challenges now confronting the country.
Sep 23 2018
Rank #7: 43: Costing Trump’s China Tariffs
Keynes and Bown explain some implications of President Trump’s plan to impose tariffs on US imports from China starting July 6, 2018, which could escalate to cover $450 billion of American imports. They speak to Mary E. Lovely (PIIE) and Simon Rabinovitch (The Economist) about which companies will be affected and how China might retaliate beyond tit-for-tat tariffs.
Jun 22 2018
Rank #8: 11: The Complicated Impact of Trade…on Developing Countries
PIIE Senior Fellow Chad P. Bown and Soumaya Keynes of the Economist examine the impact of international trade on economic activity within developing countries like India, Vietnam, and Brazil. They talk with Professor Nina Pavcnik of Dartmouth College about her research on how trade liberalization has impacted workers and firms, what affects their ability to adjust, and the implications for poverty reduction and inequality. They also discuss the challenges and domestic policy implications of the pockets of nonadjustment that are found—not only in America—but even in the developing world.
Nov 09 2017
Rank #9: 76: Trump versus India: Fighting over Which Poor Countries Are Special
The Trump administration pulled India and Turkey from the US Generalized System of Preferences, a program that offers zero tariffs to imports from poor countries. Keynes and Bown explain the decision and how it fits into a broader battle between rich and poor countries around special and differential treatment and how it is holding up progress on WTO negotiations.
Mar 10 2019
Rank #10: 98: What’s Wrong with Germany’s Trade Surplus?
Jeromin Zettelmeyer (Peterson Institute for International Economics) joins Keynes and Bown to explain the growth of Germany’s trade and current account surplus, and the puzzle behind why it has not gone away. They discuss the role of the European Union, the value of the Euro, ways German policymakers could tackle the surplus, as well as worries over the return of economic nationalism.
- Jeromin Zettelmeyer. 2019. The Return of Economic Nationalism in Germany. Peterson Institute for International Economics Policy Brief 19-4, March.
- Jeromin Zettelmeyer. 2019. The Troubling Rise of Economic Nationalism in the European Union. Peterson Institute for International Economics Realtime Economic Issues Watch, March 29.
- Monica de Bolle and Jeromin Zettelmeyer. 2019. Measuring the Rise of Economic Nationalism. Peterson Institute for International Economics Working Paper 19-15, August.
Aug 28 2019
Rank #11: 60: America May Be Doing Away with WTO Dispute Settlement
Keynes and Bown talk with former WTO Appellate Body member Jennifer Hillman (Georgetown Law) about WTO dispute settlement. They describe the procedural, philosophical, and judicial complaints the United States has with the current way of addressing trade frictions, potential solutions to those problems, and how the American refusal to appoint new Appellate Body members could soon destroy the functionality of the entire multilateral system of enforcement.Episode Transcript [PDF]
- Tetyana Payosova, Gary Clyde Hufbauer and Jeffrey J. Schott. 2018. The Dispute Settlement Crisis in the World Trade Organization: Causes and Cures. PIIE Policy Brief 18-5, March.
- Jennifer A. Hillman. 2018. Three Approaches to Fixing the World Trade Organization’s Appellate Body: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly? Georgetown IIEL working paper.
- Robert McDougall. 2018. Crisis in the WTO: Restoring the WTO Dispute Settlement Function. CIGI Papers No. 194.
- Rachel Brewster. 2014. Pricing Compliance: When Formal Remedies Displace Reputational Sanctions. Harvard International Law Journal.
- Jeffrey Dunoff and Mark Pollack. 2017. The Judicial Trilemma. American Journal of International Law.
- Robert Howse. 2016. The World Trade Organization 20 Years On: Global Governance by Judiciary. European Journal of International Law.
- Alan O. Sykes. 2003. The safeguards mess: A critique of WTO jurisprudence. World Trade Review.
- USTR. 2018. 2018 Trade Policy Agenda and 2017 Annual Report.
- European Union. 2018. EU WTO Modernisation Concept paper.
- Canada. 2018. Strengthening and Modernizing the WTO. WTO document JOB/GC/201.
- Gary Clyde Hufbauer. 2011. WTO Judicial Appointments: Bad Omen for the Trading System. PIIE Real Time Issues Watch, 13 June.
Oct 29 2018
Rank #12: 111: Trade Policy Under Trump
Stephen Vaughn, formerly the Trump administration’s USTR General Counsel, joins in a wide-ranging conversation about the Trump administration’s trade policy. They discuss critiques of the pre-Trump approach (3:04), as well as Trump’s approach on China (6:00), the European Union (18:30), the WTO Appellate Body (22:50), and more.Episode Transcript [PDF]
Nov 25 2019
Rank #13: 75: A US-China Farm Subsidy Fight at the WTO
Not to be overshadowed by the Trump-China trade war, the WTO issues an important legal ruling on Chinese subsidies. Soumaya Keynes and Chad Bown describe how the Americans had challenged Chinese payments to farmers of corn, wheat and rice, as well as implications of the WTO ruling for US-China trade relations and the multilateral system.
Mar 03 2019
Rank #14: 54: Can Trump Withdraw from Trade Deals?
Keynes and Bown examine the legal arguments surrounding President Trump’s threats to withdraw from the North American Free Trade Agreement and World Trade Organization. They speak with legal experts Gary Hufbauer (PIIE), Rachel Brewster (Duke Law School), and Joel Trachtman (Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy) about what constitutional arguments and legal precedent might—and might not—constrain a president from taking such an action without the approval of Congress.
Sep 15 2018
Rank #15: 5: Solar Tariffs, Clean Energy (and Trump)
Soumaya Keynes of The Economist and PIIE Senior Fellow Chad P. Bown discuss President Trump’s upcoming choice to grant trade protection to a sliver of the US solar manufacturing industry. The episode describes cleavages within the solar industry, including jobs, and the rarely used US Section 201 trade law being deployed. It chronicles the long history of environmental, economic, and trade policy problems–in the United States, the European Union, and China–behind the solar panel dispute and the potential consequences if Trump imposes a new global safeguard in the form of import tariffs or quotas.
Sep 29 2017
Rank #16: 72: Richard Baldwin on Disruption, Technology and Trade
Keynes and Bown sit down with Richard Baldwin (Graduate Institute) to talk about centuries of economic and social change resulting from the combined forces of globalization and new innovations. They also discuss his new book The Globotics Upheaval: Globalization, Robotics, and the Future of Work and about how ICT, digital trade, artificial intelligence, machine learning and tele-migrants may soon create social havoc for a very different type of worker than has been forced to adjust in the past.
Feb 14 2019
Rank #17: 95: Is China a Currency Manipulator?
Keynes and Bown discuss the Trump administration’s decision to name China a currency manipulator. They are joined by former IMF Chief Economist Maury Obstfeld (PIIE, Berkeley), Joseph Gagnon (PIIE), and Alice Fulwood (The Economist), who help explain what affects the value of the US dollar, the history of Chinese currency manipulation, the challenge of identifying a country as a currency manipulator, and the implications of the Trump administration’s actions today.
- Soumaya Keynes. The Trump administration labels China a currency manipulator. The complaint is more than a bit muddled. The Economist, August 6, 2019.
- Alan Beattie. Donald Trump sets a toothless dog loose on China. Making the ‘currency manipulator’ designation now is logically incomprehensible. Financial Times. August 6, 2019.
- C. Fred Bergsten and Joseph E. Gagnon. Currency Conflict and Trade Policy: A New Strategy for the United States. Peterson Institute for International Economics, 2017.
Aug 09 2019
Rank #18: 8: NAFTA Time Out–Unsurprisingly Unconventional
Soumaya Keynes of the Economist and PIIE Senior Fellow Chad P. Bown focus on the economic tension arising through the ongoing NAFTA—or North American Free Trade Agreement—talks between the United States, Canada, and Mexico. The episode also dives into the question of how integrated the NAFTA economy is, exploring value-added in the hotly contested automobile industry. The trade geeks also provide rapid-fire answers to questions from listeners who were asked “What else do you want to know about NAFTA?”
Oct 20 2017
Rank #19: 107: Bombed Embassies and Document Leaks – How China Got into the WTO
Paul Blustein (Centre for International Governance Innovation) joins to discuss the contentious process of US-China negotiations in the late 1990s that ultimately resulted in China joining the World Trade Organization. Their discussion of his latest book – Schism: China, America, and the Fracturing of the Global Trading System – sets the stage for much of the subsequent challenges that continue to affect the US-China trade relationship today.
- Paul Blustein. 2019. Schism: China, America, and the Fracturing of the Global Trading System. Center for International Governance Innovation.
- Soumaya Keynes. 2019. The trade war did not start with President Donald Trump. A new book suggests it may not end with him either. The Economist, September 27.
Oct 24 2019
Rank #20: 1: NAFTAnomics: The Economics of Three Big Fights
Soumaya Keynes of The Economist and PIIE Senior Fellow Chad P. Bown discuss the economics of trade policy. This week they focus on three big fights in the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) renegotiations, as President Donald Trump steers the trade relationship between the United States, Mexico, and Canada on Twitter. The first is about the ability of foreign companies to sue governments under NAFTA; the second is Trump seeking to remove constraints on imposing antidumping and countervailing duties on imports from other NAFTA countries, and finally, potential changes to the “rules of origin” that affect how much production takes place in North America.
Sep 01 2017