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Posts tagged ‘Heineman’

Can Chinese Market Reforms Help American Companies?

Ben W. Heineman, Jr.

Ben W. Heineman, Jr.

By Ben W. Heineman, Jr.

(This article first appeared on TheAtlantic.com, where Ben Heineman is a frequent contributor)

At the recent Third Plenum political gathering, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) made headlines around the world by committing to a greater role for the market and for competition in China’s government-directed economy. Whether and when the Party will translate that rhetoric into reality is a critical question for the future. But a vital related question is this: Will the Party allow American companies to compete—freely and fairly—in China?

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Name the Trade Rep, Mr. President

Ben W. Heineman, Jr.

Ben W. Heineman, Jr.

By Ben W. Heineman, Jr.

(This article first appeared in Harvard Business Review Blog Network, where Ben Heineman is a frequent contributor)

In President Obama’s second term, the United States has an ambitious and challenging Atlantic and Pacific trade agenda which could significantly alter the architecture of the global economy.

But the President has yet to designate someone to fill the crucial Cabinet level position of U.S. Trade Representative (USTR). The stakes, both internationally and domestically, are extremely high and Mr. Obama should immediately send to the Senate for confirmation a nominee of prominence and stature.

Doing so would show that he places the highest priority on both the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations — started in 2011 and slated to end this year — and the newly launched free trade negotiations between the US and EU which are scheduled (optimistically) to be completed before the 2016 election. He should simultaneously push hard for Congressional renewal of Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) which gives the Executive the power to negotiate trade agreements subject only to a prompt up or down vote in the House and Senate with no amendments. This authority expired in 2007. Read more

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Why Egypt’s Economy Matters

Ben W. Heineman, Jr.

Ben W. Heineman, Jr.

By Ben W. Heineman Jr.

Senior Fellow, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs

Note: This commentary first appeared on TheAtlantic.com.

The economy was an important cause of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak’s overthrow. The Mubarak regime failed to deal with poverty (20 percent of the population), unemployment (more than 10 percent), lack of opportunity for a bulging youth cohort (90 percent of the unemployed were between 15-24), inflation (about 12 percent in total consumer prices, with food higher), and widespread corruption.

Since Mubarak’s departure, in February, the Egyptian economy has significantly worsened, with the military leaders failing to address the burgeoning issues. Read more

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Failing to get to corporate accountability in Gulf disaster

Ben W. Heineman, Jr.

By Ben W. Heineman, Jr.

By Ben W. Heineman, Jr.

Senior Fellow, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs

(A longer version this column first appeared on the Harvard Business Review blog on Sept. 22, 2011)

The last official report on the April 2010 explosion at the Deepwater Horizon rig was issued on September 16th. And yet the ultimate question remains: what responsibility did boards of directors and senior business leaders have for the catastrophe in the Gulf? We may never know. The report fails to address this fundamental question, just like all the other reports which have gone before. Read more

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In China, corruption and unrest threaten autocratic rule

By Ben Heineman

By Ben Heineman

By Ben Heineman

Senior Fellow, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs

(A longer version of this post appeared first on TheAtlantic.com)

In recent days,  the Western media separately reported two events –-one on corruption and a second on a social protest— which are, however,  part of broader, interrelated  trends  which together constitute significant threats to autocratic China.

Event One was an online analysis from the money laundering bureau of the central bank, the People’s Bank of China, stating that, 17,000 Communist Party members and state functionaries had illicitly obtained and then smuggled out of China an astonishing $124 billion from the mid-90s until 2008.  These kleptocratic acts are symbolic of China’s broader corruption. Read more

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Can women be a catalyst for Japanese renewal?

By Ben Heineman

By Ben Heineman

The Power & Policy Fellows’ Forum

By Ben Heineman

Japan faces the daunting task of rebuilding after the earthquake and the tsunami. But these natural disasters struck a nation with deep structural issues, including a slow-growth economy, an aging population, often sclerotic political, bureaucratic, and business leadership — and significant workplace discrimination against women.

Many commentators have speculated that Japan’s response to the immediate crisis creates the possibility — though hardly the certainty — of broader, longer-term renewal. And, if such a renewal occurred, an important dimension could be to redress serious gender inequality in the workplace which is more pronounced than in other industrialized nations. Read more

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The Quest for Economic Legitimacy in Egypt

By Ben Heineman

The Power & Policy Fellows’ Forum

By Ben Heineman

Since Anwar Sadat took over from Gamal  Abdel Nasser more than 40 years ago, Egypt has gone through episodic waves of economic liberalization, from privatization to changes in fiscal/monetary policy to sectoral restructuring.

However, during this period of start-stop economic reform, there was no meaningful reform of the constitutional structure and the political system. Read more

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