EconoGraphics

Italians go to the polls on March 4th to elect a new government. Under a new electoral system, the outcome is uncertain. The Global Business and Economics program looks at some key economic indicators that could influence the election.

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This edition of our EconoGraphic blog explains the difference between primary and secondary sanctions, outlines how secondary sanctions work, and uses a case study to demonstrate how the United States employs secondary sanctions in the real economy. 

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The future of the Irish border is one of the key sticking points in the ongoing Brexit negotiations between the European Union (EU) and the United Kingdom (UK).

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The outcome of yesterday’s regional elections in Catalonia reflects the electorate’s deep polarization on the issue of regional independence.

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The region of Catalonia will hold critical elections on December 21. The stakes are high: the region unilaterally declared its independence on October 1 and subsequently saw the rule of its regional government suspended by Madrid’s central government pursuant to Article 155 of the Spanish constitution.

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In April of this year, Suniva, a Chinese-owned, US-based solar manufacturer filed a rarely-used Section 201 petition with the US International Trade Commission (ITC), requesting the imposition of minimum prices for solar module imports into the United States. In May, German-based SolarWorld joined Suniva’s petition, and in September, the ITC ruled in favor of the plaintiffs, ultimately recommending up to a 35 percent tariff on imported solar modules. 

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On October 3, 2017, the Atlantic Council hosted a conference with experts from the public and private sector to discuss the impact of Brexit on economic sanctions policymaking. The United Kingdom (UK) currently plays a considerable role crafting and implementing sanctions policy in the European Union (EU). Transatlantic cooperation and sanctions alignment are vital to ensure the effectiveness of this essential foreign policy tool. 

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Infrastructure investment stimulates economic growth. According to McKinsey & Company, an increase in infrastructure investment equal to 1 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) would convert into an additional 1.5 million direct and indirect jobs in the United States. America’s infrastructure is in a state of disrepair. The American Society of Civil Engineers scored the country’s infrastructure a collective “D+” in 2017.

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On August 2, 2017, US President Donald J. Trump signed into law H.R.3364, a new set of economic sanctions aimed primarily on Russia (with additional measures adopted against Iran and North Korea). Essential to the success of any sanctions regime is its alignment. As defined by John Forrer in an upcoming paper, economic sanctions are aligned when they “inflict a prescribed amount of economic loss… at a level to achieve the identified foreign policy goal(s) with the least amount of unwanted harm.” 

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On June 15, 2017, US President Donald J. Trump issued Executive Order 13801, which sought “to promote affordable education and rewarding jobs for American workers” by increasing the number of apprenticeship opportunities. Trump’s stated goals are ambitious. With a proposed ApprenticeshipUSA budget of $200 million (roughly double the previous amount), the president wants to increase the number of US apprenticeships from 505,000 in 2016 to 5 million by 2022.

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