Foreign Policy

Bipartisan cooperation is key to US-EU transatlantic trade

Negotiations on the U.S.-EU Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) have begun in Washington and the process is off to a good start, with strong support from President Obama and his European counterparts.  It won’t be an easy road, though. This unique and groundbreaking trade negotiation is vastly more complex than any in memory.


We need a leader in global hunger fight

Humanitarian aid agencies want the U.S. to appoint a leader to direct the fight against global hunger. When you see hunger emergencies the size of the one facing Syria you see exactly what they mean.


Samantha Power: Human rights advocate no more?


On July 17, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee held a hearing on Samantha Power’s nomination to be the U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations. In order to gain the support of the members of the committee, which it is clear Power did as demonstrated by the committee’s 16-2 vote in her favor, Power disavowed her previous criticism of U.S. foreign policy, ignored President Obama’s own disastrous human rights record and, in the process, undermined her credibility on issues of human rights.


Don't force an irresponsible vote on Iran sanctions

The House of Representatives is under pressure to vote on a new Iran sanctions bill, H.R. 850, before members leave town for August recess. Scheduling such a vote would be irresponsible and highly counterproductive to U.S. strategy on Iran.


The corruption connection

What do the conviction of an activist in Russia, bribed building inspectors in Bangladesh, the Arab revolutions, and the unraveling of Afghanistan have in common? Corruption – a failure that crosses state boundaries and wreaks havoc on economic growth, human opportunity, and security. Sadly, while American politicians give lip service to the scourge of corruption, it has been consigned to the arena of low politics, for program officers and procurement officials, not top leaders.

It’s time to recognize the security threat corruption overseas poses to U.S. interests. That means taking it seriously at the level of high politics, changing bureaucratic policies to improve the ability to fight it, and ending practices in which the U.S. fuels it.


U.S.-E.U. pact could redefine global trade standards

As the United States continues to rebound from one of the worst economic downturns in recent history, there remains a high level of uncertainty that suggests we’re not quite out of the woods yet. To bolster our recovery, President Obama and Congress have rightly looked to foreign trade as a driver of economic growth and jobs.  Trade has been a top-of-mind issue lately, with Vice President Joe Biden traveling to India to urge greater economic cooperation, and House and Senate hearings being held to explore the great potential of increased trade.


Transatlantic trade: Is China in or out?

One of the most significant international events of the new century is unfolding at this very moment, and it’s receiving almost no attention from the press. It will affect trade, manufacturing, safety, significantly alter international regulations, and will affect power dynamics across the globe. What is it?

It’s the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, or TTIP. Its name is dry and dull, but its implications are not.


India: Actions have consequences

Differences in Washington abound. But one challenge has unified the Obama Administration, Congress and the business community over the past several weeks: India’s unjustifiable discrimination against U.S. exports, intellectual property, and investment.


Shaping world trade

After years of frustrating attempts at trying to resolve individual trade problems, such as whether Europe could accept American chickens dipped in a chlorine-tinged bath to kill salmonella, the two largest free internal markets recently launched a very broad trade negotiation to facilitate trade across the Atlantic.  As negotiations continue, the main subject will be trying to get standards moving on a more compatible path – we both care about food and automobile safety, so why not work on standards together so that they do not become barriers to each other’s trade?  Product standards will be among a few dozen areas for negotiation, as will difficult areas of cross-border data flow and more traditional trade barriers.


Time to take the necessary steps to secure the safety of the population of Camp Ashraf/Liberty

This week the UN Security Council session will discuss the possibility of extending the mandate of the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI). It is expected on this occasion that the head of UNAMI, the Special Representative of the Secretary General (SRSG) Ambassador Martin Kobler will present his periodic and last report on the situation of the residents of Camp Ashraf/Liberty before he leaves Iraq for the Democratic Republic of Congo, where he will lead another UN complex mission.