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February 4, 2014

Google, Inc.'s Eric Schmidt at Cato Trade's Inaugural Global Exchange Dinner Series

On February 3, the Herbert A. Stiefel Center for Trade Policy Studies welcomed Google's Executive Chairman, Eric Schmidt, to headline the inaugural installment of our new dinner conversation series, Global Exchange. At an informal gathering with 22 policy experts and opinion leaders, Eric shared his perspectives on international trade and investment, human progress, freedom, data privacy and the prospects and challenges we face in the 21st century information age. Policy experts from major think tanks and media representing the Washington Post, New York Times, Financial Times, Bloomberg Television, and Thomson Reuters were in attendance, contributing to a thought-provoking exchange of this timely topic.

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(Photo: John Allison, Eric Schmidt, Daniel J. Ikenson)

Upcoming Events

Boom to Bust? How Export Restrictions Imperil America’s Oil and Gas Bonanza
February 10th  (11:30 am)

Featuring James Bacchus, Former WTO Appellate Body Jurist and Former U.S. Congressman; Scott Lincicome, Cato Institute Adjunct Scholar and International Trade Attorney; and Mark Perry, Professor of Economics, University of Michigan–Flint, and American Enterprise Institute Scholar; moderated by Daniel Ikenson, Director, Herbert A. Stiefel Center for Trade Policy Studies, Cato Institute.

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Will we Have Freer Trade in 2014? Director of the Herbert A. Stiefel Center for Trade Policy Studies, Daniel J. Ikenson, weighs in on this discussion.

Recent Research and Commentary

If The U.S. Trade Agenda Implodes, Blame The Equivocator-In-Chief
Daniel J. Ikenson

Fast Track Bill Presented but Progress on Trade Requires the President Stand Up to Detroit
Daniel J. Ikenson
Patents, Public Health, and International Law: The Eli Lilly NAFTA Chapter 11 Case (Jan. 16 2014).

In recent years, controversy has arisen over perceived conflicts between intellectual property protection and public health, and also over the role of international investment rules that allow corporations to sue governments before international tribunals. A new case combines both issues. Pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly has filed a claim before a NAFTA tribunal, alleging that Canadian court decisions in response to challenges from the Canadian generic drug industry have unfairly invalidated some of the company’s Canadian patents. Watch now for a spirited discussion of this topical issue.

Our Scholars on this Month's Trade News

Those who may have thought a fast track bill could be plopped down and rammed through a skeptical Democratic caucus failed to account for history or for the consequences of the president’s refusal to do anything to soften the ground for trade legislation in Washington.  His lack of investment in explaining trade’s benefits has yielded commensurate dividends.

-Daniel J. Ikenson

President Obama had some positive words for trade in his State of the Union speech.  They were somewhat limited, however, and if he wants to promote his agenda of trade agreements with the Pacific region and Europe, he needs to back up his words with actions, and do it soon.

-Simon Lester

Those who favor less government and open markets – including many farmers – find the new farm bill to be a truly dissatisfying piece of legislation.  It blocks market signals, distorts resource allocation, invites retaliation by failing to end policies that violate U.S. WTO obligations, and is projected to be the most costly farm bill in history.

-Daniel R. Pearson

The farm bill presented an opportunity for Congress to repeal protectionist regulations on catfish inspection and meat labeling that have injured a wide array of U.S. businesses and consumers for the benefit of a very narrow group of well-connected industries.  Unfortunately, the final version of the bill that came out of conference this month failed to address either issue.  Retaliation against US exports is increasingly likely, especially over unnecessarily onerous labeling standards for meat from foreign-born cattle, which Mexico and Canada have already successfully challenged at the WTO.

-K. William Watson
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In this Issue

Google, Inc.'s Eric Schmidt at Cato Trade's Inaugural Global Exchange Dinner Series

Upcoming Events:
Boom to Bust? How Export Restrictions Imperil America’s Oil and Gas Bonanza (Feb.10)

Recent Research and Commentary

Will we Have Freer Trade in 2014? and 'Fast Track' Authority's Dubious Record

Cato Scholars respond to President Obama's 2014 SOTU Address

Congressional Trade Votes Profile:

Sen. Harry Reid

Our Scholars on this Month's Trade News
Senior Fellow, (and former U.S. ITC Commissioner) Daniel R. Pearson, offers insights on trade remedies reform and the future of U.S. agricultural policy at a January 30 luncheon.
K. William Watson discusses 'Fast Track' Authority's Dubious Record in this podcast
Blog Posts

Environmental Governance in Trade Agreements

Should Free Traders Support Free Trade Agreements?

Damning Trade with Faint Praise

What to Look for in the Upcoming Trade Policy Debate

Is Free Trade in Energy Finally on the Horizon?

The Good Old Days of Global Poverty
2014 State of the Union
Cato Institute scholars Alex Nowrasteh, Aaron Ross Powell, Trevor Burrus, Benjamin H. Friedman, Simon Lester, Neal McCluskey, Mark Calabria, Dan Mitchell, Justin Logan, Patrick J. Michaels, Walter Olson and Jim Harper respond to President Obama’s 2014 State of the Union Address. #CatoSOTU
Congressional Trade Votes Profile: Sen. Harry Reid has been a fairly consistent interventionist, voting in favor of market-distorting subsidies and opposing the reduction of trade barriers.
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Previous Issues

Cato Trade Monthly Update, Jan. 6, 2014
Cato Trade Monthly Update, Dec. 2, 2013
Herbert A. Stiefel Center for Trade Policy Studies, Cato Institute
1000 Massachusetts Avenue NW | Washington, DC 20001
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