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PCI Trade Blog

Updating NAFTA for the Digital Age

With two rounds of NAFTA modernization talks completed, and a third session coming up on Sept. 23 in Ottawa, it’s timely to consider what kind of negotiating milestones would point to a successful outcome. 
Kathryn Hauser believes the U.S., Canada and Mexico can achieve a win-win-win increase in North American competitiveness if they concentrate on upgrading their cooperation in three key areas:  services, digital trade, and cross-border data flows.  She explains why these should be the crux of a new NAFTA in her recent blog for the Global Federation of Competitiveness Councils, which can be found

Innovation and CreativityWhat Does Broadway's Hamilton Tell Us About Today;s Global Economy?

This blog first appeared on,
June 8, 2016

Innovation and Creativity
What Does Broadway’s “Hamilton” Tell Us About Today’s Global Economy?
By Kathryn Hauser
Even if you can’t score tickets to the hit Broadway show,Hamilton, which was recently nominated for a record-setting 16 Tony Awards, you can still download the cast album onto your computer, iPhone, iPad or other device.  As you listen to the highest selling Broadway cast album of 2015, the hottest selling cast album since 1963 and the #1 Rap Album, you may not appreciate that all of this is made possible b

Where the Jobs Are

Where the Jobs Are
Kathryn Hauser
June 14, 2016
Job creation across the American economy tumbled in May, with the economy adding just 38,000 positions.  Economists, analysts, and politicians are trying to make sense of these numbers.  The sharp decline in labor force participation over the first half of 2016 casts doubt on hopes for a stronger economic recovery.  What’s not being discussed is where the new jobsarebeing created – and what can be done to encourage firms to hire more workers.

You Say Bananas...Reducing Hunger Through Trade

TPP: A View from Europe

This blog was first published by the ProgressiveEconomy andnis repeated here

TPP: A View from Europe
Why Europe is Watching Closely
by Kathryn Hauser
 March 16, 2016
 As American and European negotiators met last month in Brussels for the 12 round of US-EU trade talks, known as the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), many Europeans were looking east - to the recently concluded Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) - for clues about the future of global trade and the impact of TPP on Europe.

A New Year, a New Push for TTIP

A New Year, a New Push for TTIP
by Kathryn Hauser, Managing Partner
Policy Connections International, LLC
February 3, 2016
What a difference a New Year makes.
Now that American trade negotiators have completed the Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations (TPP), more resources and energy can be put to resolving the thorny issues that plague Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership negotiations (TTIP) with the European Union.   Ambassador Froman has rightly given a positive nod and encouragement to his team to quicken the pace with additional meetings of negotiating teams taking place between the formal negotiating sessions.

A Holiday Wish for Peaceful Resolution of the Transatlantic Food Name Fight

‘Tis the Season for Gastronomic Indulgence -- and some associated thoughts on Geographical Indications.  This is a trade policy menu item that causes considerable indigestion, but it can’t be left behind on the plate if there is to be a transatlantic free trade accord.

Holiday gatherings among our family and friends have become epicurean  tours du monde.  Not only do they include traditional American fare, but also meats, cheeses, wines and spirits from just about everywhere. 

Fast Track Opponents are Off-Track in Maligning Multinationals

Last Friday, as the Senate prepared to wind up its debate over TPA (also known as “Fast Track”) legislation, Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nevada) took to the floor to reiterate his opposition:
“In looking at trade bills that have passed in Congress in the years past, it’s not going to help the people I want to help.  I’m happy that multinational corporations are doing well, but my first goal is not them.  It’s people who work for a living.”
The Senate approved the legislation, but prominent Democrats in the House of Representatives, where the TPA bill will face a tougher battle, share Sen.

Money and Spanking: The Quest for Enforceable Currency Rules

After years of political wrangling over whether Congress should enact strong measures to counter exchange rate manipulation by China or other countries, a donnybrook is brewing in conjunction with congressional consideration of new Trade Promotion Authority (TPA). The outcome could determine the fate of major trade negotiations. 
Whatever the merits, if enforceable exchange rate disciplines become a principal U.S. negotiating objective at this stage, prospects for concluding a Trans Pacific Partnership or Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership agreement would be thrown into greater doubt.

Pistachios and Ports

The West Coast ports labor dispute that has been dragging on since last summer is causing measurable economic damage.  At the very least, it must be an impediment to faster growth. It’s certainly driving export and import businesses nuts — not least America’s pistachio growers, whose national day of celebration is coming up on February 26.  Unfortunately their heaviest marketing period has collided with the worsening ports slowdown.

Earlier this month, the U.S. Census Bureau issued its foreign trade report for December 2014,  provisionally completing the data set for the entire year.
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