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Tag Archives: International

Guest Contribution: “How Tariffs Affect China’s Exports”

Today, we’re fortunate to have Willem Thorbecke, Senior Fellow at Japan’s Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI) as a guest contributor. The views expressed represent those of the author himself, and do not necessarily represent those of RIETI, or any other institutions the author is affiliated with. Donald Trump launched a trade war with China.  On 6 July 2018 he placed 25% tariffs on $34 billion of imports from China and on 23 August 2018 he placed 25% tariffs on an...

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Steel Tariffs and Iron/Steel Prices

The Section 232 tariffs on steel and aluminum were a bad idea during the Trump administration. They’re still a bad idea. There are indications that the Biden administration will keep these tariffs in place, at least in the short term. Given the accelerated rise in prices since end-2020, this reluctance to eliminate these counterproductive measures is mysterious to me. The depreciation of the dollar after the Trump-induced flight to dollar assets had already raised import prices. Figure 1:...

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Guest Contribution: “What Three Economists Taught Us About Currency Arrangements”

Today, we present a guest post written by Jeffrey Frankel, Harpel Professor at Harvard’s Kennedy  School of Government, and formerly a member of the White House Council of Economic Advisers. A appeared at Project Syndicate. A generation of great international economists is passing from the scene.  Richard Cooper died on December 23. An American, he was teaching his classes at Harvard until the very end. Robert Mundell, passed away on April 4.  Originally Canadian; he was a...

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“The Fed and the International Financial System”

Today, students in my Master’s level Public Affairs course in macroeconomics had the good fortune to receive a guest lecture from Steven Kamin, resident scholar at AEI, formerly Director of the International Finance Division of the Federal Reserve Board (sponsored by UW’s International Division). In his lecture, he covered the centrality of the dollar in the global financial system, monetary “spillovers” of Fed policy to other economies with special reference to the pandemic response, the...

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Macroeconomic Competitiveness

Competitiveness is often appealed to in popular discourse, but seldom defined. In macroeconomics, competitiveness is usually interpreted as cost competitiveness. Chinn and Johnston (JPAM, 1994) discuss the topic at length. Here is the OECD’s measure of cost competitiveness since 1999, along with the Fed’s CPI deflated measure of the dollar against a broad basket of currencies. Figure 1: Unit labor cost (ULC) in manufacturing deflated value of US dollar (blue), estimated ULC deflated series...

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“Is a Dollar Crash Coming?”

That’s the title of a symposium in The International Economy, with Anders Åslund, Scott K.H. Bessent, Lorenzo Bini Smaghi, Jill Carlson, Stephen G. Cecchetti, Menzie D. Chinn, Lorenzo Codogno, Tim Congdon, Marek Dabrowski, Mohamed A. El-Erian, Heiner Flassbeck, Takeshi Fujimaki, Joseph E. Gagnon, James K. Galbraith, James E. Glassman, Michael Hüther, Richard Jerram, Gary N. Kleiman, Anne O. Krueger, Mickey D. Levy, Thomas Mayer, Jim O’Neill, Adam S. Posen, Holger Schmieding, Derek Scissors,...

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Guest Contribution: “The Impact of COVID-19 on Emerging Financial Markets”

Today, we are pleased to present a guest contribution by Steven Kamin (AEI), formerly Director of the Division of International Finance at the Federal Reserve Board. The views presented represent those of the authors, and not necessarily those of the institutions the authors are affiliated with. The eruption of the Covid-19 pandemic early last year was a triple whammy for the emerging market economies (EMEs): it directly threatened their public health and economic activity; it pushed the...

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The Strong Dollar Debate, Yet Again

(Somewhat repetitive of a 2007 post…) Steven Englander of Standard Charter writes several weeks ago (not online): “From the Treasury’s perspective, the purpose of a strong dollar policy is less a strong dollar itself than to encourage foreigners to lend to the US on favourable terms even when the dollar is under pressure. The success of a strong dollar policy is reflected in the absence of USD risk premium on US assets when the USD is weak. In fact, the preferred asset market outcome is...

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“Richard Cooper, cutting-edge economist”

That’s from the title of a Harvard Gazette article today: Most economists live in the world of theory, using careful calculations to predict the future. But Richard N. Cooper believed theory couldn’t tell the whole story when it came to solving real-world problems, particularly when they involve the whole world — which he amply demonstrated after a global recession in the 1970s. The Maurits C. Boas Professor of International Economics “understood that human systems are complex,” said Kenneth...

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