Issue 62| June 18, 2015

TPP is crucial for U.S. to stay involved with Asia


Singapore's Foreign Minister K. Shanmugam believes the credibility of the U.S. in the Asian region depends on Congress's ability to pass legislation that will allow the U.S. to approve of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).  The TPP has been a central part of Obama's strategy in balancing against an increasingly assertive China.  The U.S.'s involvement with the TPP will be a huge determining factor on whether or not the U.S. continues to lead the global economic agenda.  Read more.


House GOP eyeing another shot at trade bill

Finding new Democratic votes for Trade Adjustment Assistance will be very difficult. House Democratic sources say that anyone who switches their vote now will be a prime target for labor and other progressive groups, who are looking to stop the Trans-Pacific Partnership at any cost. Labor groups have already put on the full-court press with major ad buys in the districts of swing Democratic votes, and they're expected to keep applying the pressure.  Read more.


IMF announces Chinese currency no longer "Undervalued"


The announcement marks a notable shift for the International Monetary Fund (IMF), which has long argued that Beijing has held too tight a control on its currency. Many of China's trading partners have argued that the Chinese currency is too weak, making the country's exports artificially more attractive than those of foreign competitors. "While undervaluation of the renminbi was a major factor causing the large imbalance in the past, our assessment now is that the substantial real effective appreciation over the past year has brought the exchange rate to a level that is no longer undervalued," said the IMF's mission to China in a statement.

Read more.



Africa Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) should do more to strengthen intellectual property

Guaranteeing IP rights over an artist's or artisan's work accrues various benefits to the creator and the larger community. First, in the absence of IP rights, creative professionals cannot make a fair return from their creativity and therefore struggle to make a livelihood out of their craft. Second, by allowing artists to transform their creativity from a passion to a commercial enterprise, IP rights increase the contribution that the creative sector makes to a country's GDP. This type of economic diversification is important for many African countries, particularly those that are highly resource-dependent and seek to diversify their economic base. Read more.


Exporting benefits local businesses

Ninety-five percent of consumers and 70 percent of the world's purchasing power is located outside of the U.S., so it is key for growing American businesses to have access to international markets. The Obama Administration is negotiating two trade agreement deals, the Trans-Pacific Partnership and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, which will allow small U.S businesses to gain greater access to the global marketplace.  Solaris, a medical manufacturing business, is an example of a U.S business that has expanded internationally and seen an increase in U.S jobs and sales. Read more


Vietnam is an example as to why free trade is necessary


Vietnamese workers are currently suffering from poor work conditions, long hours and low pay compared to their U.S counterparts. For these reasons, it is important for governments to adhere to the rules and regulations established through the Trans Pacific Partnership. It is vital for Vietnam to abide by the rules of the TPP and set an example for other nations that represent other markets through the TPP. Read more.


Business and Investment Opportunities in Turkey, July 23

Join the Consulate General of Turkey in Los Angeles, in partnership with the L.A. Area Chamber, to receive an update on the immediate and long-term opportunities for American firms in Turkey's growing economy. Register now or contact Jasmin Sakai-Gonzalez.

Compiled by Global Initiatives Interns Jordan Ulves and David Word.

For more information, contact Jasmin Sakai-Gonzalez, 213.580.7569.