On Independence Day, Two Ways International Law Tests Social Contracts In 1776, America declared economic and political independence from its colonial masters. Two-hundred and forty-one years later, American workers are still looking for economic enfranchisement in a world of global interdependence.  Two happenings in recent weeks illustrate how. CAFTA’s First Labor Case: Workers, 0; Capital,

The Trump administration started the clock on renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) in its official notice to Congress on Thursday. Robert Lighthizer, Trump’s newly confirmed trade czar, said in a statement that this made good on Trump’s campaign critiques of the pact. Is this just more bluster, or can we expect

Only two countries in the world are not signatories of the Paris Agreement, an historic pledge by the world’s nations to work to cut greenhouse gas emissions. It seems very likely that this week the U.S. will add its name next to Nicaragua and Syria, when President Trump makes good on a campaign threat to

The following remarks were delivered to a congressional panel by Roosevelt Fellow Todd Tucker on May 3, 2017. Good afternoon, Leader Pelosi, Co-Chair DeLauro, Co-Chair Swalwell, and esteemed members of the Committee. Thank you for the chance to share some assessments on trade opportunities and challenges as you look to shape a better future for

The Trump administration’s decision last week to punt on labeling China a currency manipulator disappointed some of his supporters, but should not have surprised anyone paying attention to the policy details. Indeed, it’s a culmination of decades of a hyper-legalistic approach to economic strategy. Before delving into the details, let’s look at the basic economics.

It’s been a big week for President Trump’s trade policy. His various moves have been at turns cynical, interesting, and uncertain. We look at examples of each below. The Cynical: NAFTA On Thursday, leaked documents revealed that the administration’s version of Making NAFTA Great Again would make it more like the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). NAFTA,

This week, Trump administration officials said they would prepare an executive order reviewing all U.S. trade deals. This would make good on Trump’s campaign pledge to push an overhaul of trade deals ranging from the 1993 North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) to the 2016 Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), the latter of which Trump pulled the

The Brexit vote demonstrated the limits of U.S. pressure. While the U.S. has a long history of intervening in votes in developing countries, recent years have seen a more widespread abandonment of neutrality. In 2014, the U.S. weighed in against the Scottish independence vote. This year, President Obama traveled to England to push Remain, and

Global Economic Governance 2.0

I’m pleased to be the newest fellow at the Roosevelt Institute, where my focus will be the ins and outs of global economic governance. I’m especially interested in how international treaties affect domestic law, politics, and economics—and vice versa. The moment demands big new ideas in this space. From investor-state dispute settlement, to the World

Unless you live under a rock (and perhaps even if you do), by now you have heard a good deal about the Panama Papers, the 2.6-terabyte news leak orchestrated by nearly 400 journalists, currently being hailed as one of the largest document leaks in history. The documents detail the operations and clients of Mossack Fonseca, a