Trade Agreements: Path to Prosperity

 

 Mergen_Ashley

 

By Ashley E. Mergen
Senior Manager, International IP Policy
Global Intellectual Property Center | U.S. Chamber of Commerce

 

With the all the hysteria flying left and right in this election cycle, it’s no wonder folks are second-guessing why the U.S. even pursues free trade agreements. But the overheated rhetoric of presidential campaigns is obfuscating what really is at stake- American competitiveness.

The United States is already among the most open markets in the world – and has been since the end of World War II. That openness has honed the edge of American competitiveness and helped stem the price inflation that fuels inequality. Trade agreements are a tool to ensure that U.S. products and services have the same fair and non-discriminatory access to international markets.

As the leader of the free world, the U.S. has worked to shape the rules of the road in the international economy. Free trade agreements are one of the most effective mechanisms for doing so. The alternative to U.S. free trade agreements is a global economy shaped by others who don’t have America’s interests at heart.  The world is not sitting still: The World Trade Organization counts 419 trade agreements in force around the world, while the United States is party to only 20.

It’s true that 21st century trade deals like the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Agreement and Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) are growing even more complex, especially as they tackle emerging and critical issues like intellectual property rights in digital trade or biopharmaceuticals.

But knowledge-intensive trade isn’t limited to big corporations or scientists curing cancer. It is also providing a significant platform for entrepreneurial women to connect with previously untapped markets.Take Lolita Healy, who after obtaining her first copyright at the age of 12 built a multi-million dollar empire painting designs on glassware, eventually selling 14 million products around the world. Lolita is just one example of the 40 million Americans who are employed by the creative and knowledge-intensive industries. The U.S. Department of Commerce has found that they represent over a quarter of all jobs in the economy, driving 60% of total U.S. exports.

The best part is, there are Lolita’s everywhere- from Michigan to Malaysia or Pennsylvania to Peru. This year’s International IP Index from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce estimated that economies which espouse meaningful and robust IP rights also enjoy more access to venture capital, more foreign direct investment, more R&D expenditure, more growth in high-value jobs, the list goes on…

Trade agreements like the TPP and TTIP continue this path to prosperity by ensuring innovation — the very cornerstone of the business community — remains protected as we expand markets abroad. So before you buy into the hype, take a look behind the curtain and see how trade really puts our innovators front and center on the world’s stage.

Babson and Other Business Schools Commit to White House to Create ‘Best Practices’ to Give New Opportunities for Women in Business

Graduation cap with coins.

Babson, along with 45 other business schools have committed to a set of best practices, shared with the White House, offering strategies for business schools to help women succeed during and after school. These business practices are designed to prepare female students for the challenges of the changing American workforce.

These best practices have four major area’s of focus:

  • Ensuring access to business schools and business careers;
  • Building a business school experience that prepares students for the workforce of tomorrow;
  • Ensuring career services that go beyond the needs of traditional students;
  • Exemplifying how organizations should be run.

To read more about the set of best practices, click here.

It’s Time to Lift America’s Ban On Crude Oil Exports

oilby Barbara Kasoff, WIPP President

Since the start of the year, a surprising amount of support on both sides of the aisle to remove the ban on crude oil exports has emerged. Is this a sign that we are entering into a new era of bipartisan collaboration, specifically to form an energy agenda that will improve the nation’s security and get our economy moving again? While that still may be a ways off, it is clear this is one issue that could lead to historic collaboration on energy policies that will benefit American economy.

The 4.7 million businesswomen across the country that our coalition represents believe we can help secure the nation’s economic future through sound energy policies. We believe exporting our abundant energy resources must be a key part of that future and supporting an update in our crude oil export policy is the correct course of action and would allow our country to prosper at its full potential.

According to a report released this week by Margo Thorning, senior vice president and chief economist for the American Council for Capital Formation (ACCF), and William Shughart a research director for the Independent Institute and J. Fish Smith Professor in Public Choice at the University of Utah, the economic advantages and geopolitical benefits to lifting the ban on crude are clear.

The paper titled, “The Economic Case for Lifting the Crude Oil Export Ban,” cites the findings from five different studies conducted by various institutions such as IHS, Brookings Institute, the Aspen Institute, ICF International, and Resources for the Future, all of which agree that the case to update this policy is strong. Notably, they all conclude the same three major impacts lifting the ban on crude oil exports would have on the economy and consumers, including: job creation, an increase in U.S. GDP, and a downward pressure on consumer fuel prices.

For example, one of the most recently released studies mentioned in the report – by IHS – estimated that lifting the ban on crude oil exports would generate 390,000-859,000 new jobs annually nationwide and increase U.S. GDP between $86 billion and $170 billion over the next fifteen years.

Senator Lisa Murkowski, Chairwoman of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, who has been one of the biggest champions of an examination of various U.S. energy policies, including the ban on crude oil exports, also noted the economic “no brainer” we are facing, stating, ““the economics are clear… lifting the ban on crude oil exports will benefit consumers.”

In addition to the much need economic stimulus from removing the ban, revising the current energy exports policy specifically with regard to crude oil, also extends U.S. geopolitical influence by strengthening our international trade relationships. Foreign allies would gain access to a stable and abundant source of crude oil that would overall create a more secure market.

Women thought leaders like Dr. Margo Thorning and Chairwoman Lisa Murkowski understand that repealing the ban on crude represents a fiscally responsible strategy to allow the U.S. to utilize our growing energy abundance.  Simply put, to quote Murkowski herself, “It’s time to lift America’s ban on crude oil exports.”