Obama sets in mo­tion global round of fresh trade talks

The Pak Banker - - COMPANIES/BOSS -

Faced with slug­gish jobs growth and fail­ure of the Doha round, the Obama Ad­min­is­tra­tion has set in mo­tion an am­bi­tious global round of trade talks cov­er­ing Europe and much of Asia, which is bound to in­flu­ence coun­tries such as China, In­dia and Brazil, says a me­dia report.

“Go­ing through this cri­sis and re­cov­ery has pushed us all to fo­cus on what it is we can do to cre­ate jobs and growth in ev­ery area of pol­icy. If we are able to ex­e­cute on this, it will be the most am­bi­tious trade agenda in a very long time,” Mike Fro­man, Deputy Na­tional Se­cu­rity Ad­vi­sor, was quoted as say­ing by me­dia. The report said that if the ef­fort pays off, it could boost some of Amer­ica’s most com­pet­i­tive and im­por­tant com­pa­nies. Ac­cord­ing to me­dia, fi­nance and con­sult­ing firms would be able to move more deeply into Europe, Ja­pan and some de­vel­op­ing coun­tries.

Tech­nol­ogy lead­ers would have free­dom to source their soft­ware and place their com­put­ers where it makes the most eco­nomic sense, it said, adding that the biotech in­dus­try would see longer patent pro­tec­tions, and car­mak­ers could get ac­cess to the cov­eted Ja­panese auto mar­ket.

“To the Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion, it’s the log­i­cal re­sponse to slug­gish job growth, the fail­ure of the Doha round of global trade talks and the fear that trade re­stric­tions in­cu­bated in places such as China and In­dia could be­come the global norm un­less coun­tered,” it said in a ma­jor report on trade poli­cies of the Obama Ad­min­is­tra­tion’s sec­ond term.

“It is a wa­ger, in a sense, on ro­bots over run­ning shoes as the ad­min­is­tra­tion tries to cre­ate trad­ing rules that play to U.S. strengths in in­no­va­tion, tech­nol­ogy and high-end ser­vices but could mean more com­pe­ti­tion for ba­sic man­u­fac­tur­ing,” it said.

The dis­cus­sions in­clude the 11-na­tion Tran­spa­cific Part­ner­ship (TPP), a po­ten­tially sweep­ing agree­ment that would tie the United States more closely to North Amer­i­can neigh­bours Canada and Mex­ico and open new re­la­tions with grow­ing Asian economies such as Viet­nam.

South Korea and Ja­pan, the world’s third-largest econ­omy, may join as well, it said. In fact, The Washington Post re­ported that the Obama Ad­min­is­tra­tion is en­gaged in a wide range of talks with a large num­ber of coun­tries and the re­gion.

“If Obama pulls this off, it will be path­break­ing, prece­dent-shat­ter­ing. Tech­nol­ogy lead­ers would have free­dom to source their soft­ware and place their com­put­ers where it makes the most eco­nomic sense, it said, adding that the biotech in­dus­try would see longer patent pro­tec­tions, and car­mak­ers could get ac­cess to the cov­eted Ja­panese auto mar­ket. “They ap­pear to have moved from a riska­verse first term to cre­at­ing a legacy in in­ter­na­tional eco­nomic and trade pol­icy,” Bruce Stokes, head of the global eco­nomic pro­gram at the Pew Re­search Cen­ter, told me­dia.

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