Live Webcast August 8:The Trans-Pacific Partnership and the Future of International Trade

The Program on America and the Global Economy(PAGE), the Asia Program, the Canada Institute, the Kissinger Institute, the Latin American Program (LAP) and the Mexico Institute with the Support of Wilson Center Senior Scholar William Krist Presents:

 The Trans-Pacific Partnership and the

Future of International Trade

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

2:00 – 5:00 pm

2:00 pm – 2:40 pm KEYNOTE:  Ambassador Demetrios Marantis, Deputy U.S. Trade Representative

2:50 pm – 3:50 pm PANEL 1: New and Future Participants
Canada: Laura Dawson, President of Dawson Strategic and a Former Public Policy Scholar, Woodrow Wilson Center
China: Jeff Schott, Senior Fellow, Peterson Institute for International Economics
Japan: Edward Lincoln, Professor, George Washington University
Mexico: Luz Maria De La Mora Sanchez, Professor of CIDE, former Public Policy Scholar, Woodrow Wilson Center
Moderator: Kent Hughes – Program on America and the Global Economy

4:00 pm – 5:00 pm PANEL 2: Key U.S. Interests
Jim Grueff, Trade Consultant and former trade negotiator for the Foreign Agricultural Service
Linda Menghetti, Vice President, Emergency Committee for American Trade
Celeste Drake, Trade Policy Specialist, AFL-CIO
Stephanie Burgos, Senior Policy Advisor, Oxfam America
Moderator: Kent Hughes – Program on America and the Global Economy

Watch the live webcast here.
Posted by: PAGE Staff

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Guest Contributor William Krist: Negotiations for a Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement

The only major current trade negotiation that the U.S. is engaged in at this time is the negotiation for a Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Agreement with eight other nations in Asia and the Americas.  And Canada and Mexico are expected to join the negotiations in December.  If successful, the resulting free trade area would include Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, and Vietnam, as well as the U.S.  With multilateral negotiations in the WTO now stalled, the TPP offers the best opportunity for additional trade liberalization.  More importantly, if done right, this agreement could provide a template for future WTO negotiations and for a broad agreement with the 21 member nations in Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum, a group of 21 Pacific Rim countries that includes China, Indonesia and Russia.

Negotiators made progress in the most recent round of negotiations held in San Diego from July 2 to 10, although there are a number of controversial issues that remain.  The next negotiating round is scheduled for September 6 to 15 in Leesburg, Virginia, although it is unlikely that negotiators will resolve the critical issues until after the U.S. presidential election.

Click here to view a background paper on the TPP and key issues.

 

 

William K. Krist is a Senior Policy Scholar at the Woodrow Wilson Center.  He is a former Senior Vice President of the American Electronics Association.  He has written extensively on trade, development, and the environment.  Anthony Gausepohl is his Research Assistant at the Woodrow Wilson Center.

Canadian Astronaut Reflects on Space Missions

Update: We incorrectly stated that Julie Payette was the first female Canadian astronaut. The first female Canadian astronaut was Roberta Bondar. Julie Payette is currently Canada’s only female astronaut.  The corrected post is below.

The following is the Scholar Spotlight for the March issue of the Wilson Center’s newsletter Centerpoint.

Looking at Earth from space is like “seeing a blue marble in a black drop of darkness,” said Julie Payette, a Canadian astronaut who is spending six months in residence as a Wilson Center public policy scholar. Payette is one of only four astronauts in Canada.

Payette dreamt of becoming an astronaut ever since she was a young schoolgirl, as she watched in awe the footage of American and Russian astronauts traveling into space. But few Canadians who aspire to become astronauts actually get to fulfill that dream. The country’s first only current female astronaut, Payette was selected by the Canadian Space Agency in 1992 out of more than 5,300 applicants.

Payette has flown on two shuttle missions, both to the International Space Station (ISS), and has logged more than 600 hours in space. During her first flight in 1999 on the Space Shuttle Discovery, she said nobody was yet aboard the ISS. In fact, it was the first time a manned shuttle had docked there. On that mission, the crew delivered three tons of cargo to the ISS.

Reflecting on that first mission, Payette spoke of the wonder and amazement of “building a lab in one of the harshest environments possible in near-Earth orbit.”

Ten years later, in 2009, Payette flew aboard the Shuttle Endeavor toward the end of the Station’s construction. At that point, she said, six people already were there. During this mission, the crew completed construction of a Japanese experiment module and delivered critical supplies.

The ISS is truly a model of foreign diplomacy. The Station has five partners: Americans, Russians, Japanese, Canadians, and a European consortium, and NASA covers three-quarters of the Station’s costs. “Nationality becomes secondary,” Payette said. “What’s most important is our ability to do work together.”

Payette is the second astronaut to land at the Wilson Center. Russian astronaut Yuri Baturin was a Kennan Institute research scholar from 1989-1990. While at the Center, Payette is researching and writing about the challenges of diversity, opportunities, and advancements within a performance-based, operations-driven environment such as the aerospace industry.

To become an astronaut, four criteria must be met. The applicant must: come from a scientific/engineering/medical, or technical background; be a citizen of that country; meet work-experience criteria and preferably have an advanced degree; and be able to communicate effectively. Applying is a rigorous, competitive process involving many months of long interviews and tests to determine medical, psychological, and operational competence.

“Once selected, the agency has to harmonize training and attitudes and prepare us,” she said. But despite verification checks and other safety measures, “you can never prepare for everything that might happen.”

One of Payette’s goals is to become involved in education-based projects. “Few get to travel in space, so I’d like to reach out to the younger generation and promote awareness of the importance of science and technical studies,” she said. Payette plans to help translate space videos into Spanish and French to make these resources available in more countries. Like traveling in space, she said, “Education should be an international collaboration.”

Posted by: Dana Steinberg

Photo Credit: David Hawxhurst/Woodrow Wilson Center

How the West Can Win: Controlling Spending as We Grow

The following summary is from an event sponsored by the Program on America and the Global Economy and the Canada Institute at the Woodrow Wilson Center held on January 12,  2010.

The video archive can be found here.

Governments of advanced economies must learn to live within their means, said James Flaherty, Canada’s finance minister, at a Director’s Forum hosted by the Canada Institute in collaboration with the Program on America and the Global Economy. Flaherty’s speech centered on the factors that allowed Canada to effectively address and quickly recover from the 2008 financial crisis.

Flaherty cited years of balanced budgets, surpluses used to pay down Canada’s debt, and a sound banking system as major reasons why Canada was in a stronger fiscal position heading into the financial crisis than many of its G7 counterparts. He credited the centralized supervision of Canadian financial institutions, conducted by the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions, as a primary reason why Canada avoided the banking crisis faced by the United States.

Like almost all other G20 countries, said Flaherty, Canada developed a comprehensive stimulus plan to guide the country through difficult economic times during the economic downturn. This spending was only meant to be temporary, he said, noting that Canada aims to cut its deficit in half by 2012 and return to balanced budgets soon after to maintain fiscal sustainability. Read more of this post

Guest Contributor Laura Pedro: The State of Canadian Innovation

According to many prominent academics and business people, the state of Canadian innovation has seen better days.  Canadian “institutions have failed to create a culture of innovation, of entrepreneurship, of creativity, and of intelligent risk-taking,” argues University of Alberta fellow Peter Hackett, the former CEO of the now-defunct Alberta Ingenuity.  The Conference Board of Canada gave the country “D” in innovation in 2010, and Canada ranks dead last out of 25 developed countries in the awarding of PhDs.  Some have even called this struggle Canada’s biggest economic challenge.

Critics and recent studies have pointed to a number of reasons for these distressing facts.  Some say that Canada has grown complacent with its natural resource wealth, while some blame an aversion to risk-taking.

While Canadian innovation is currently struggling, a recent report by The Institute for Competitive and Prosperity provided a number of recommendations.  First, the authors argued that Canada needs to encourage a culture that unites talent in common pursuit, rather than separates it, and one which nurtures “forgiveness of failure” in the pursuit of innovation.  Second, they argued that Canada must stop basing its innovation strategy on incentives such as low taxes, and instead support talent and projects built as a result of competitive pressure, both globally and domestically.

Fortunately, there are some positive signs of the state of innovation in Canada.  There are successful regional clusters such as Waterloo, Ontario, home to Research in Motion (creator of Blackberry), Open Text, two prominent universities and more than 700 high-tech businesses.  This cluster has the potential to be a blueprint that other regions can pattern themselves after.

Some, however, suggest that the key to enhancing innovation across Canada is to treat the sector like the one thing Canada indisputably leads the world in: hockey.  Start young, nurture talent, and then wring out every ounce of potential.

Laura Pedro is a Program Assistant with the Canada Institute at the Woodrow Wilson Center.

Sources: ComputerWorld Canada, CTV News, Edmonton Journal, The Globe and Mail, Montreal Gazette

Photo Credit: Innovation Canada courtesy of flickr user cstmweb

Reminder – How the West Can Win: Controlling Spending as We Grow

Please join the Program on America and the Global Economy and the Canada Institute at the following Director’s Forum:

“How the West Can Win: Controlling Spending as We Grow”

James M. Flaherty

Minister of Finance, Government of Canada

Wednesday January 12, 2011

12:00 to 1:00 p.m.

Woodrow Wilson Center, 6th Floor, Joseph H. and Claire Flom Auditorium

James M. Flaherty serves as Canada’s Minister of Finance. He is a Governor of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund and dean of the G7 finance ministers. Minister Flaherty was recently awarded Euromoney Magazine’s Finance Minister of the Year award, crediting him with enhancing Canada’s reputation for sound fiscal policy while overseeing a strong regulatory regime that has kept the financial sector stable during recent global turmoil.

Minister Flaherty’s speech will touch on the following areas:

  • FISCAL STRENGTH. Canada’s fiscal strength going into the recession and why this allowed Canada to respond quickly and effectively with one of the world’s largest stimulus packages when the recession hit.
  • LOW BUSINESS TAXES. Canada’s favorable business climate, and how it’s allowing Canada to lead the G7 in economic recovery, as forecasted by the IMF and OECD. Canada’s business income taxes are among the lowest in the G7, and are set to decrease further in 2012.
  • SOUND BANKING SYSTEM. How Canada’s stable banking system—ranked soundest in the world for three years in a row by the World Economic Forum—allowed the country to avoid bank failures and nationalization.
  • INTERNATIONAL ECONOMIC LEADERSHIP. Canada’s international leadership at the Toronto G20 summit, which committed advanced economies to halve deficits and put debt on a downward track, while reaffirming the need to resist protectionism.
  • FISCAL CONSOLIDATION. The urgent need for advanced economies to fiscally consolidate, in light of recent European sovereign debt events.

To RSVP acceptance or to receive further information send an email to Drew Sample at

Drew.Sample@wilsoncenter.org. Please provide your name with a clear spelling, your affiliation and your telephone number.


Please allow time on arrival at the building for routine security procedures. A photo ID is required.

You are Invited – How the West Can Win: Controlling Spending as We Grow

DIRECTOR’S FORUM

Wednesday January 12, 2011

12:00 to 1:00 p.m.

Woodrow Wilson Center, 6th Floor, Joseph H. and Claire Flom Auditorium

“How the West Can Win: Controlling Spending as We Grow”

James M. Flaherty

Minister of Finance, Government of Canada

James M. Flaherty serves as Canada’s Minister of Finance. He is a Governor of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund and dean of the G7 finance ministers. Minister Flaherty was recently awarded Euromoney Magazine’s Finance Minister of the Year award, crediting him with enhancing Canada’s reputation for sound fiscal policy while overseeing a strong regulatory regime that has kept the financial sector stable during recent global turmoil.

Minister Flaherty’s speech will touch on the following areas:

  • FISCAL STRENGTH. Canada’s fiscal strength going into the recession and why this allowed Canada to respond quickly and effectively with one of the world’s largest stimulus packages when the recession hit.
  • LOW BUSINESS TAXES. Canada’s favorable business climate, and how it’s allowing Canada to lead the G7 in economic recovery, as forecasted by the IMF and OECD. Canada’s business income taxes are among the lowest in the G7, and are set to decrease further in 2012.
  • SOUND BANKING SYSTEM. How Canada’s stable banking system—ranked soundest in the world for three years in a row by the World Economic Forum—allowed the country to avoid bank failures and nationalization.
  • INTERNATIONAL ECONOMIC LEADERSHIP. Canada’s international leadership at the Toronto G20 summit, which committed advanced economies to halve deficits and put debt on a downward track, while reaffirming the need to resist protectionism.
  • FISCAL CONSOLIDATION. The urgent need for advanced economies to fiscally consolidate, in light of recent European sovereign debt events.

To RSVP acceptance or to receive further information send an email to Drew Sample at

Drew.Sample@wilsoncenter.org. Please provide your name with a clear spelling, your affiliation and your telephone number.


Please allow time on arrival at the building for routine security procedures. A photo ID is required.