Globalization Initiative

NDN's Globalization Initiative was established to promote economic growth and restore broad-based prosperity in our globalized economy. Chaired by Dr. Robert Shapiro, Under Secretary of Commerce for Economic Affairs under President Bill Clinton, the program works to address the structural changes affecting the American and global economies. NDN argues that a "lost decade," marked by declining household incomes, remains the most important factor in the American economy and politics.

Our agenda for addressing the structural changes inherent in the era of globalization includes three key components: modernizing our healthcare and energy policies, investing in 21st century skills and infrastructure, and accelerating innovation across the economy. NDN also continues to play a major role in the debate over how to best manage the Great Recession and fosters dialogue around renewing the national consensus on global economic liberalization.

Papers and Memos

A New, Progressive Economic Strategy for America released 5/11: By Robert J. Shapiro
Written over a series of weeks in April 2010, this collection of four pieces lays out a new economic strategy for America that creates broad-based prosperity and addresses the America's great economic challenges in the era of globalization.
Building on recent struggles in Congress to do more for the economy than pass the extension of unemployment insurance, NDN outlines a political and policy framework to take steps in 2010 that promote near-term job creation and economic growth.
In this white paper, Globalization Initiative Deputy Policy Director Jake Berliner describes the rise of new economic powers and the challenges and opportunities they are presenting the American and global economies.
Keeping the Focus on the Struggle of Everyday People: 2010 Edition 1/26/10: By Simon Rosenberg
This memo argues that the nation would benefit from a shift to economic rhetoric and policy geared towards the struggle of everyday Americans. 

Crafting an American Response to the Rise of the Rest 1/21/10: By Simon Rosenberg  Cross posted on and
Simon argues that the second generation Obama narrative must be a strategic response to the most significant transformation taking place in the world today, what Fareed Zakaria has called the “rise of the rest.” While the true scope of this transformation is only really becoming apparent now, it leaves our new President with the historic opportunity, and tremendous responsibility, to craft a comprehensive strategic response to this global “new politics” of the 21st century.
A Lost Decade for Everyday Americans 12/17/09:  By Jake Berliner
In this paper, Jake Berliner, Deputy Policy Director of NDN's Globalization Initiative, argues that everyday Americans are at the end of a “lost decade” and explains the still misunderstood causes of the virulence of the recession.
The Key to the Fall Debate: Staying Focused on the Economy 9/03/09: By Simon Rosenberg
The last few months have not been good ones for Democrats, but there is a road map for how they can get back on track, and it revolves around staying relentlessly focused on the economy and the struggle of every day people.
A Stimulus for the Long Run 11/14/08: By Simon Rosenberg and Robert J. Shapiro
Congress and President-elect Obama can use the stimulus not only to create more jobs, but to do so in ways that will drive the development of a 21st century economic infrastructure.
This narrative setting essay argues that leaders must do more to staunch the foreclosure crisis, which was at the heart of the financial meltdown.
The Idea-Based Economy and Globalization 1/23/08: By Robert J. Shapiro
U.S. companies and workers lead the world in developing and applying new intellectual property, a critical advantage in innovation that policymakers should seek to advance in the age of globalization.
Investing in Our Common Future: U.S. Infrastructure 11/13/07: By Michael Moynihan
Michael Moynihan looks at the current state of public investment in infrastructure and proposes a set of measures to restore our national political will and improve funding mechanisms to rebuild and advance U.S. infrastructure.
This presentation details the results of extensive polling conducted by NDN and Benenson Strategy Group in October of 2007 on the American public's opinions about globalization and the changing economy.
NDN Poll: Americans’ Views of the Present and Future Economy - Anxiety and Opportunity 11/6/07: By Pete Brodnitz
NDN, a progressive think tank and advocacy organization, completed a national survey on the economy and globalization on October 15th. This memo is the second of two memos outlining key findings and analysis from the poll.
NDN Poll: Clamoring for Change, Persistent Pessimism, Democrats Dominating on Economic Issues
11/2/07: By Pete Brodnitz
NDN, a progressive think tank and advocacy organization, completed a national survey on the economy and globalization on October 15th. This is the first of two memos outlining key findings and analysis from the poll.

Tapping the Resources of America’s Community Colleges: 7/26/07: By Robert J. Shapiro

Young Americans are increasingly adept at working with computers, but many American workers still lack those skills. Here, we propose a direct new approach to giving U.S. workers the opportunity to develop those skills.

We can address the challenges of the 21st century economy without sacrificing the benefits of globalization and technological advance, principally by expanding public investments in critical areas and reforming health care and energy policies.
A Laptop in Every Backpack 5/1/07: By Simon Rosenberg
We believe that America needs to put a laptop in every backpack of every child. We need to commit to a date and grade certain: we suggest 2010 for every sixth grader.
Voters Deliver a Mandate for a New Economic Strategy 11/10/06: By Simon Rosenberg
The American people want the new Democratic majorities in the House and Senate to focus and pursue an aggressive strategy to help them and their families get ahead.
Crafting a Better CAFTA 6/9/05: By Simon Rosenberg
We believe that an agreement with Central America is so important to how Americans approach the 21st century that we must commit ourselves to help negotiate and pass a better CAFTA.

Major Events

Growing the Next Economy 12/7/11
On Wednesday, December 7th, NDN hosted the Director of Multi-State Initiatives in the Office of Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber and Karl Agne, a partner at GBA Strategies, for a lunchtime discussion about bottom up economic growth, accelerating the ideas that work, and creating the Next Economy. Joining us were 

A Look at Current Global & Domestic Economic Challenges 7/26/11
On Tuesday, July 26th NDN hosted a morning conversation about the economic challenges facing America and the world featuring views from the United States Senate, House and the British House of Commons.

Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade Francisco J Sanchez at NDN 4/26/11
On Tuesday, April 26, NDN hosted Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade Francisco J Sanchez. Sanchez was joined by NDN Globalization Initiative Chair and former Under Secretary of Commerce for Economic Affairs Dr. Robert Shapiro.

National Economic Council Deputy Director Jason Furman on Winning the Future 2/22/11
Following the release of the President's budget, Jason Furman, the Principal Deputy Director of the National Economic Council joined NDN for a discussion of the budget, the economy, and the President's strategy to make America competitive in the global economy of the 21st century.

Under Secretary of State for Economic Affairs Robert Hormats on Global Economic Challenges 11/15/10
On November 15, NDN hosted Under Secretary of State for Economic, Energy, and Agricultural Affairs Robert Hormats for an important address on global economic challenges.

US Ambassador to the OECD Karen Kornbluh on Jobs for the Future 7/27/10
On July 27, NDN hosted the United States' Ambassador to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), Karen Kornbluh. Ambassador Kornbluh, who previously served as Senator Barack Obama's Policy Director and as Deputy Chief of Staff at the Treasury Department, discussed a wide range of issues in creating "Growth and Jobs for the Future," from youth unemployment, to innovation, to U.S. engagement at the OECD.
On Wednesday, June 16, NDN hosted a speech by Congressman Ron Kind (WI-3), Vice-Chair of the New Democrat Coalition and Co-Chair of the NDC Task Force on Innovation and Competitiveness. Kind spoke about the value of innovation to the American economy and the recently released New Dem Agenda for Innovation and Entrepreneurship. Kind was joined by NDN President Simon Rosenberg.
Fred Hochberg, Chairman and President of the Export-Import Bank of the United States, Speaks at NDN. 6/10/10
On June 10 NDN hosted a speech from the Chairman and President of the Export-Import Bank, Fred Hochberg, on the National Export Initiative and the work of the Export-Import Bank. NDN Globalization Initiative Chair Dr. Robert Shapiro moderated a discussion and Q&A following the Chairman's remarks.
Senator Mark Warner on Economic Competitiveness and Innovation 3/18/10
On Thursday, March 18, Senator Mark Warner joined NDN to address America's economic competitiveness in a rapidly changing global economy. He discussed the role of innovation in creating prosperity and offered his perspective on the Senate's work to craft a new economic strategy for America, which includes reforming the nation's health care and financial sectors.
FCIC Chairman Phil Angelides on “Examining Our Financial Past to Secure Our Economic Future” 2/2/10
On Tuesday, February 2, NDN hosted an address from Phil Angelides, Chairman of the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission. Formerly the Treasurer of the State of California, Mr. Angelides has been charged by Congress to lead the effort examining the causes of the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression. He discussed the commission's work, which began in earnest in February with much anticipated hearings. NDN Globalization Initiative Chair Dr. Robert Shapiro introduced Mr. Angelides and opened the event with contextual remarks.


Visit the Globalization Initiative blog for more of our ongoing work.

Visit Globalization Initiative Chair Robert Shapiro's blog.

Visit Globalization Initiative Deputy Policy Director Jake Berliner's blog.

Summers on Recovery, Lack of Income Growth

In an article leading with Larry Summers' call on banks to increase lending, President Obama's National Economics Advisor gives Bloomberg reporters an update on the status of the economy:

Summers said the U.S. economy is "no longer in freefall," and poised for recovery starting this year. The former Treasury secretary and Harvard University president cited recent increases in exports, and said fiscal-stimulus and foreclosure- relief programs will create a "gathering force" in the coming months.

Even so, income growth may not "resume in the near term," he told Bloomberg editors and reporters.

"The pace of growth next year, I think, is very much in doubt and difficult to predict," Summers said. That "will depend crucially on our effectiveness in implementing the programs that have been legislated" and what Congress may do on health care, financial regulation and energy, he said.

IMF Predicts End Of Global Recession... Which May Bode Well For Recession

Related Programs
Other Related Programs: 
Globalization Initiative
The Great Recession
Huffington Post

"You can bash the IMF for its predictions," explained Rob Shapiro." But the issue here, is that lots of people are upgrading their forecast for 2010 relative to the forecast four months ago. The forecast remain very low though..."

Denying CIT Aid Shows Bailouts have their Limits

Related Programs
Other Related Programs: 
Globalization Initiative
The Great Recession
Associated Press

"You have to be glad for any line at all — that the government and the taxpayers are not prepared to rescue any financial institution under all circumstances," said Rob Shapiro, a former economic adviser to President Bill Clinton..."

Some Economists Warn Barack Obama's Economic Predictions too Optimistic

Related Programs
Other Related Programs: 
Globalization Initiative
The Great Recession

“They used a rosy forecast,and that’s understandable because a quick recovery makes the rest of the agenda possible. It creates the basis for the revenues you need for health care and climate change,” said Robert Shapiro.

What's Next for the American Economy with Jagdish Bhagwati and Robert Shapiro

Please join leading economists Jagdish Bhagwati and Robert Shapiro at NDN for a discussion of the challenges facing the American economy. This is the first in a series of discussions on this important and timely topic to be led by NDN Globalization Initiative Chair Robert Shapiro. Bhagwati, a leader in international economics, will join NDN to discuss the ongoing Great Recession, America's place in the global economy, and the future for global trade policy.

BhagwatiDr. Jagdish Bhagwati is the University Professor at Columbia University and Senior Fellow in International Economics at the Council on Foreign Relations. He has been Economic Policy Adviser to Arthur Dunkel, Director General of GATT (1991-93), Special Adviser to the UN on Globalization, and External Adviser to the WTO. He has served on the Expert Group appointed by the Director General of the WTO on the Future of the WTO and the Advisory Committee to Secretary General Kofi Annan on the NEPAD process in Africa, and was also a member of the Eminent Persons Group under the chairmanship of President Fernando Henrique Cardoso on the future of UNCTAD.

Professor Bhagwati has published more than three hundred articles and has authored or edited over fifty volumes; he also writes frequently for The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and The Financial Times, as well as reviews for The New Republic and The Times Literary Supplement. Professor Bhagwati is described as the most creative international trade theorist of his generation and is a leader in the fight for freer trade. His most recent book, In Defense of Globalization (Oxford, 2004), has attracted worldwide acclaim. Five volumes of his scientific writings and two of his public policy essays have been published by MIT press. The recipient of six festschrifts in his honor, the latest three on his 70th birthday (please click here for more information), he has also received several prizes and honorary degrees, including awards from the governments of India (Padma Vibhushan) and Japan (Order of the Rising Sun, Gold and Silver Star). 

Complete bio.

ShapiroDr. Robert J. Shapiro is the Chair of NDN's Globalization Initiative, and has been involved in the project since its inception in early 2005. Dr. Shapiro has an extensive background examining the American and global economies. From 1997 to 2001, Dr. Shapiro was U.S. Under Secretary of Commerce for Economic Affairs. In that position, he directed economic policy for the Commerce Department and oversaw the Nation’s major statistical agencies, including the Census Bureau while it planned and carried out the 2000 decennial census.

Prior to his appointment as Under Secretary, he was co-founder and Vice President of the Progressive Policy Institute and the Progressive Foundation. He also was principal economic advisor in Governor Bill Clinton’s 1991-1992 presidential campaign and senior economic advisor to Vice President Albert Gore and Senator John Kerry in their presidential campaigns. Dr. Shapiro also served as Legislative Director for Senator Daniel P. Moynihan, Associate Editor of U.S. News & World Report, and economic columnist for Slate. He has been a Fellow of Harvard University, the Brookings Institution, and the National Bureau of Economic Research. Dr. Shapiro holds a Ph.D. from Harvard University, a M.Sc. from the London School of Economics and Political Science, and an A.B. from the University of Chicago. He has lectured at many universities, including Harvard University and Stanford University, and is widely published in both scholarly and popular journals.

Dr. Shapiro is also the co-founder and chairman of Sonecon, LLC, a private firm that provides advice and analysis on market conditions and economic policy to senior executives and officials of U.S. and foreign businesses, governments and non-profit organizations. Dr. Shapiro has advised, among others, U.S. President Bill Clinton and British Prime Minister Tony Blair; private firms such as MCI, Inc., New York Life Insurance Co., AT&T, Google, Gilead Sciences, SLM Corporation, Nordstjernan of Sweden, and Fujitsu of Japan; and non-profit organizations including the American Public Transportation Association, the Education Finance Council, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. He is also a Senior Fellow of the Progressive Policy Institute, and a board member of the Ax:son-Johnson Foundation in Sweden and the Center for International Political Economy in New York.


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President Obama Begins Hard Economic Conversation with America

In his speech yesterday announcing the American Graduation Initiative, President Obama sounded a new, tougher tone about the past and future of the American economy. NDN has long argued that, prior to the Great Recession, everyday Americans – faced with declining incomes, stagnating wages, and rising healthcare, energy, and pension costs – had been in a recession for nearly a decade. In his speech, the President discussed that fact, noting that we have to do more to ensure broad based American prosperity.

Here's what the President said about how we got here and the New Foundation we must create (emphasis added):

…the hard truth is, is that some of the jobs that have been lost in the auto industry and elsewhere won't be coming back.  They're the casualties of a changing economy.  In some cases, just increased productivity in the plants themselves means that some jobs aren't going to return.  And that only underscores the importance of generating new businesses and new industries to replace the ones that we've lost, and of preparing our workers to fill the jobs they create.  For even before this recession hit, we were faced with an economy that was simply not creating or sustaining enough new, well-paying jobs.

So now is the time to change all that.  What we face is far more than a passing crisis.  This is a transformative moment.  And in this moment we must do what other generations have done.  It's not the time to shrink from the challenges we face or put off tough decisions.  That's what Washington has done for decades, and it's exactly why I ran for President -- to change that mindset.  Now is the time to build a firmer, stronger foundation for growth that will not only withstand future economic storms, but that will help us thrive and compete in a global economy. 

As Simon wrote a few weeks ago, if the President can build a new narrative around the argument that the economic direction of the United States was untenable prior to the Great Recession, pieces of the President's agenda – reforming health care and energy policy and enabling future growth by creating a 21st century workforce (amongst many, many other pieces) – become crucial. It also allows the President to lead a badly needed national conversation about how we are going to remake a saner, more prosperous American economy that goes beyond recovery to respond to the great challenges of globalization.

President Obama, CEA Write On Community Colleges and Worker Skills

President Obama has been a long time supporter of the notion that America's community college system can help create a workforce for a 21st century economy. He sounded that note in an op-ed on Sunday and his White House Council of Economic Advisors wrote on the value of community colleges in training the American workforce in a report released today on the Jobs of the Future.

Obama in the Washington Post:

We believe it's time to reform our community colleges so that they provide Americans of all ages a chance to learn the skills and knowledge necessary to compete for the jobs of the future. Our community colleges can serve as 21st-century job training centers, working with local businesses to help workers learn the skills they need to fill the jobs of the future. We can reallocate funding to help them modernize their facilities, increase the quality of online courses and ultimately meet the goal of graduating 5 million more Americans from community colleges by 2020.

From the CEA report, entitled Preparing the Workers of Today for the Jobs of Tomorrow (emphasis added):

Research suggests that the most valuable credentials are those in quantitatively-oriented fields or high-growth/high-need occupations such as health care. Similarly, evidence from Washington State suggests that displaced workers who attend a community college substantially increase their long-term earnings compared to those who do not. Again, the benefits are greatest for academic courses in math and science as well as courses related to the health professions and other technical fields. These findings point to a powerful role for community college education in helping displaced workers through the current economic downturn, particularly if they take classes in fields related to high-growth industries and occupations.

NDN could not agree more with the President and his economic team. Recently, House Democratic Caucus Chairman John Larson introduced H.R. 2060, The Community College Technology Access Act of 2009, which is based on a paper written in 2007 by NDN Globalization Initiative Chair Dr. Robert Shapiro called Tapping the Resources of America’s Community Colleges: A Modest Proposal to Provide Universal Computer Training. The legislation offers free computer training to all Americans through the already existing infrastructure of the nation's approximately 1,200 community colleges.

The bill is faring quite well in the House, with cosponsorship from 41 members:

Rep Blumenauer, Earl [OR-3] - 6/9/2009
Rep Bordallo, Madeleine Z. [GU] - 4/23/2009
Rep Castle, Michael N. [DE] - 4/27/2009
Rep Conyers, John, Jr. [MI-14] - 7/8/2009
Rep Costello, Jerry F. [IL-12] - 4/27/2009
Rep Courtney, Joe [CT-2] - 6/25/2009
Rep Edwards, Donna F. [MD-4] - 4/23/2009
Rep Ehlers, Vernon J. [MI-3] - 4/23/2009
Rep Filner, Bob [CA-51] - 7/8/2009
Rep Grayson, Alan [FL-8] - 4/27/2009
Rep Grijalva, Raul M. [AZ-7] - 6/2/2009
Rep Gutierrez, Luis V. [IL-4] - 6/11/2009
Rep Hare, Phil [IL-17] - 4/23/2009
Rep Himes, James A. [CT-4] - 4/23/2009
Rep Honda, Michael M. [CA-15] - 4/23/2009
Rep Kennedy, Patrick J. [RI-1] - 4/28/2009
Rep Kilpatrick, Carolyn C. [MI-13] - 4/23/2009
Rep Langevin, James R. [RI-2] - 6/2/2009
Rep Lofgren, Zoe [CA-16] - 6/24/2009
Rep Markey, Betsy [CO-4] - 4/23/2009
Rep Matsui, Doris O. [CA-5] - 4/23/2009
Rep McGovern, James P. [MA-3] - 4/23/2009
Rep McIntyre, Mike [NC-7] - 6/8/2009
Rep Miller, Brad [NC-13] - 4/23/2009
Rep Murphy, Patrick J. [PA-8] - 4/23/2009
Rep Napolitano, Grace F. [CA-38] - 4/23/2009
Rep Olver, John W. [MA-1] - 7/10/2009
Rep Pierluisi, Pedro R. [PR] - 6/2/2009
Rep Polis, Jared [CO-2] - 5/6/2009
Rep Price, David E. [NC-4] - 7/9/2009
Rep Reyes, Silvestre [TX-16] - 5/4/2009
Rep Ros-Lehtinen, Ileana [FL-18] - 5/18/2009
Rep Ross, Mike [AR-4] - 4/23/2009
Rep Roybal-Allard, Lucille [CA-34] - 6/11/2009
Rep Ryan, Tim [OH-17] - 7/8/2009
Rep Sablan, Gregorio [MP] - 4/23/2009
Rep Schwartz, Allyson Y. [PA-13] - 6/4/2009
Rep Sestak, Joe [PA-7] - 4/23/2009
Rep Sires, Albio [NJ-13] - 6/3/2009
Rep Smith, Adam [WA-9] - 4/23/2009
Rep Wu, David [OR-1] - 4/23/2009

Thinking About the Future of Global Summits Post G8

On Wednesday, I asked if a high profile G8 summit was still worthwhile. Today, a few opinions on the aftermath of what was undoubtedly an unproductive summit. President Obama rightly sees the summit process in transition:

"I think we're in a transition period. We're trying to find the right shape that combines the efficiency and capacity for action with inclusiveness," Obama told a news conference on the final day of the summit in Italy.

"And my expectation is that over the next several years you'll see an evolution and we'll be able to find the right combination. The one thing I will be looking forward to is fewer summit meetings," he said.

The President's quote brings to mind Moises Naim's recent essay in Foreign Policy on minilateralism. Naim, you'll remember, recently spoke at NDN's event ahead of the G20 summit.

David Rothkopf gives the summit a "mixed grade and a semi-eulogy" and agrees that the President spending less time at summits is a good thing.

Simon Johnson sees "messed up" messaging and seems pretty ticked about the handling of global energy markets.

And Daniel Drezner finds a policy trap on the Doha round, sounding not particularly optimistic.

On the up side, the Senate is planning to take up energy and climate legislation in the fall, which will hopefully be helpful timing in terms of one of the big international summits of the year: Copenhagen in December.


Is a High Profile G8 Summit Worthwhile?

Simon Johnson, former chief economist at the IMF, says why bother:

The L’Aquila summit seems likely to achieve nothing, i.e., nothing that could not have been agreed upon in a conference call among deputy ministers.  Just because there’s a communiqué does not mean it has any real content.  Does this kind of expensive pageant make politicians today look important or frivolous?

More broadly, three longer-run shifts mean the G7/G8 is increasingly anachronistic.

First, emerging markets have obviously risen in both respectable clout and ability to make trouble.  China’s exchange rate policy is a leading example, but think also about Mexico, Brazil, or India.  Having a global economic discussion (e.g., on climate change or aid to Africa) without these players fully at the table does not really make sense – particularly as the G20 now operates effectively at the heads of government level.  And inviting these countries to a dinner or other event on the fringes of the main meeting just adds insult to injury.

Second, the Europeans are now organized into a loose political union and all of the major economies – except the UK – are in a currency union.  What is the point of sitting down with Italy, Germany, France, and the UK separately?  It is much more effective when they – and other Europeans – work out common positions and bring those to the table collectively.  The European Union belongs to the G20 but not the G7.

Third, the idea that the US and its allies “lead” by any kind of economic policy example is plainly in disarray.  The recent crisis focuses our attention, but we’ve seen two or three decades with irresponsible credit and throwing fiscal caution to the winds across these countries.  These countries traditionally position themselves as “G7 models” worth emulating; this message needs to be toned down.

President Obama obviously has a talent for diplomacy (e.g., at the April G20 summit).  He should use the Pittsburgh G20 summit in September to transition away from the dated emphasis on the importance of a G7/G8 heads of government meeting (e.g., reduce the excessive display of nothingness, lower the hype, have it feed into the G20 more explicitly).  Canada, chair of the G7 next year and usually very sensible on these kinds of issues, can help.

In the Financial Times, Citigroup’s William Rhodes argues that the G8 can demonstrate leadership on global trade, and, in the words of the WTO’s Pascal Lamy, “come back to the table at a political level.” Rhodes’ op-ed warns against the mistakes of Smoot-Hawley, bemoans that lack of movement on FTAs and the Doha round, and speaks of the dangers of protectionism:

Meanwhile, protectionism continues its rise in insidious ways. Very recently, the House of Representatives included trade protectionist provisions in the climate change and energy conservation bill, while earlier this year such provisions were added to the economic stimulus package. Fortunately, Mr Obama has been swift to speak out against these measures, but the congressional actions reflect rising political pressures today. Other countries are implementing similar protectionist regulations or requirements, including calls to “buy domestically” or to limit the issuance of work visas.

It is precisely the danger of one country retaliating against another’s trade restrictions, leading to an ever more threatening spiral of restrictions and tensions, that is now the gravest risk. There are indications of this, for example, in the financial area. In response to the financial crisis, governments, one by one, are moving to stabilise their domestic situations by imposing inward-oriented measures on financial services firms, such as requiring them to curb foreign lending and boost domestic credit. Such provisions penalise developing countries in particular, while, more generally, undermining the flow of capital across countries. This raises the costs of trade finance and it undermines foreign direct investment. These measures exacerbate the more than 10 per cent plunge in global trade that is likely this year.

The proliferation of domestic-oriented finance measures not only fragments the international financial system, but risks its disintegration. This will compound the damage done by rising nationalistic trade actions. Combine the finance and trade protectionist measures, and the potential for a slowing of economic recovery moves from a risk to a certainty. It could prolong the pain of the economic downturn on the millions of people and businesses who are suffering from the current crisis, while threatening the fabric of international understanding and co-operation between governments.

Already today we learn that a climate agreement was not in the cards at the summit (although the headline on the story is a little misleading.)

Update: So, there was a climate agreement of sorts, but no committment from developing countries.

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