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CourseTrade and Globalization - Law 522
Instructor Jim Kolbe   View Faculty Page
Units 2 - Graded
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This course will examine policies that can be pursued to promote global economic development. While a particular focus will be placed on what the United States and other developed countries can do to support less developed countries in becoming more competitive and reducing poverty, we will also dedicate time to reviewing domestic economic reforms that can be taken by less developed countries. The US decision­making process and its impact on the extent to which the US is able to trade with and provide foreign assistance to other countries will be closely examined throughout the course.

The course will be divided into three main sections. In the first section, we will examine the impact of trade on economic development. We will start by looking at the history of today's global multilateral trading system from the formation of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) in 1947 to the recently stalled Doha Development Round. We will then look more carefully at the impact of specific bilateral free trade agreements and trade preference programs including the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) and the Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA). We will also focus on the politics of trade in Washington and the impact that partisanship in Congress has had on the U.S. global trade agenda in recent years.

In the second section, students will consider the impact that U.S. foreign assistance has had in the developing world. The class will draw on resources from the professor's service as Chairman of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Foreign Operations which is responsible for the allocation of U.S. foreign aid. In particular, we will examine the different approaches to foreign assistance used by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), the impact of increased U.S. funding for global health and HIV/AIDS and the role that trade capacity assistance has in complementing trade liberalization.

Finally, in the third section, we will consider domestic reforms that can be taken by developing countries to increase their own competitiveness and combat poverty. In particular, we will look at the so-called Washington Consensus - a series of reforms agreed to by leading multilateral financial institutions to help developing countries emerge from debt and achieve economic growth. We will examine the impact that reforms such as private property rights, deregulation, privatization and the strengthening of government institutions can have on economic development abroad. 



Course Format

Lecture and discussion

Written Assignments

Students will write three 5-7 page papers in which they will choose one topic from each section of the course and provide more detailed analyses of the benefits and shortcomings of these topics (the North American Free Trade Agreement or the Millennium Challenge Account, for example). Students will also write a final 7-10 page policy proposal recommending specific actions that can be taken to promote economic development abroad. The proposals should not be exhaustive but instead should focus in on specific policy areas (HIV / AIDS work in Africa or expanded trade with Southeast Asia, for example).

Type of Exam

No final exam

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