Trade

Globalization-related issues.

White House Targets Cybertheft as Worries About China Mount

The Christian Science Monitor
ITIF praised the new strategy to be announced by the White House as a sign that the U.S. is going to take a tougher line against trade secret theft and press foreign nations to follow the agreed-upon trade standards.

ITIF Applauds Announcement of New Strategy to Address Theft of Trade Secrets

WASHINGTON (February 19, 2013) - The Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF) praised the White House's "Strategy to Mitigate the Theft of U.S. Trade Secrets," to be rolled out tomorrow, calling it an important step towards combating innovation mercantilism and leveling the global economic playing field. Read more »

Winning the Race 2012 Memos: Trade and Globalization

September 10, 2012
| Reports

Globalization is a vision whose promise has not lived up to reality. In the promise, the United States specializes in the products and services in which it has comparative advantage, creating new value, new industries, and higher incomes, while other nations, especially developing ones, gain by importing from and exporting to the United States. In the reality, the global trading system is rife with “innovation mercantilists”—nations that see the rules-based trading system as only a framework to justify their own protectionist and negative-sum actions and who distort global trade. To restore the promise of globalization and ensure it works for the U.S. economy, the next administration needs to lead a fight to save the soul of the global trading system. This means not only putting the fight against foreign mercantilism at the center of U.S. foreign policy, but also leading the community of nations committed to free trade in a coalition against mercantilist practices.

As long as trade policy is a fight between free traders and protectionists, however, it will be difficult to make progress. Holders of the “Washington Economic Consensus,” which transcends party identification, believe in free trade, even if it is one sided (e.g., free trade on our side, protectionism from our competitors) and believe that whatever we lose from ceding one industry after another to other countries, we gain from an array of lower-priced goods and services. Moreover, they worry that robust enforcement of trade rules will ignite a trade war and instead are confident markets ultimately punish countries that break the rules. The opposing side, populated by many on the left, holds that in the face of rampant global protectionism our only choice is to switch, not fight. We should adopt the same measures as the mercantilists, goes the thinking. The next administration must put aside these obsolete and polarizing assumptions and recognize the most important step it can take is to lead nations committed to free trade in a coalition to expand trade and roll back mercantilist practices, thereby saving the global trading system.

Withdraw India’s GSP Preference If It Continues to Impose Localization Barriers to Trade on Foreign Enterprises

January 23, 2013
| Blogs & Op-eds

Developed nations, including the United States, can take measures to help other developing nations such as Brazil and India resist the tempting lure of adopting China-like mercantilist policies by stepping up action against Beijing. For example, pressing China to stop manipulating its currency for competitive advantage would make it easier for India’s manufacturers to succeed. Without rolling back Chinese innovation mercantilism, the temptations for nations such as India and Brazil to go down the innovation mercantilist path may prove to be irresistible.

Nations and multinational corporations alike are sensitive to India’s desire to boost its manufacturing sector, and are willing to collaborate in helping India achieve this goal (to wit the United States’ GSP program), but policies that distort international trade and that attempt to force (rather than attract) behavior by globally mobile enterprises are not the right path forward and are likely to only end up producing the opposite effect.

Chased by the Dragon: Competition and Innovation in China and the United States

January 17, 2013 - 4:30pm - 6:00pm
The Information Technology and Innovation Foundation
1101 K Street NW
Suite 610A
Washington
District of Columbia
20005

Does trade with China increase or decrease innovation and productivity in the United States? Understanding the answer to this question is critical to future U.S. growth, and not surprisingly there has been strong debate. Read more »

Chased by the Dragon: Competition and Innovation in China and the United States

January 17, 2013
Does competition and trade with China increase innovation and productivity?

Does trade with China increase or decrease innovation and productivity in the United States? Understanding the answer to this question is critical to future U.S. growth, and not surprisingly there has been strong debate. Some, like Stanford’s Nick Bloom, have argued (PDF) (LINK) that competition from China is spurs innovation and growth in developed nations since it lead companies to be more efficient. Read more »

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The Benefits of ITA Expansion for Developing Countries

December 16, 2012
| Reports

The Information Technology Agreement (ITA) has triggered rapid growth in trade in information technologies and communications (ICT) products and services, with developing countries’ share of global ICT exports more than doubling since 1996. Expanding the ITA will further benefit developing countries by lowering the cost of ICTs that are critical inputs to making their manufacturing and services sectors more competitive; boosting productivity across all sectors of their economies; fostering innovation; boosting exports of goods and services; and thus playing a major role in spurring economic—and employment—growth. Now is the time for policymakers in ITA member countries—developed and developing alike—to seize on the opportunity to further tariff rate elimination on ICT products, which promises to extend the already significant benefits the ITA has produced for individuals, businesses, and economies throughout the world.

China's Indigenous Innovation Policy and the Semiconductor Industry

December 13, 2012
China’s semiconductor industry poses an interesting advanced manufacturing puzzle.

China’s semiconductor industry poses an interesting advanced manufacturing puzzle: Why is it that, despite massive government efforts to build indigenous innovation and production capabilities, Chinese firms still play a very limited role in semiconductor production, integrated circuit design, and innovation?

  Read more »