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An Uncertain Future for U.S. Trade Preferences Programs

This is a joint post with Kaci Farrell.

Here we are in the final days of a congressional session, so it must be time to extend whichever trade preference programs are set to expire. This year, the 111th Congress must act (soon!) to extend the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) program and the Andean Trade Promotion and Drug Eradication Act (ATPDEA). Important parts of the Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) program, which provides benefits and services to American workers who lose their jobs due to trade, is also set to expire at the end of 2010.

The QDDR: Whew, It’s Done (Or Is It?)

After nearly 18 months, thousands of man-hours, and a few interagency scuffles, the Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review was released on Wednesday.  First, hats off to the many State Department and USAID staff who toiled on the various working groups in addition to their regular work portfolios.  This was a huge undertaking for which staff should be applauded.

Who Lives? Who Decides? Examining the “How” of Health Care Rationing

This week, PRI's “The World” is airing a piece on global health care rationing called, Rationing Health: Who Lives? Who Decides?

Motivated by U.S. attention to Sarah Palin’s “death panels” and Arizona’s  recent decision to stop funding certain organ transplants under Medicaid, PRI’s “The World” has taken a welcome global perspective on the problem of health care rationing, featuring stories from India, South Africa, Zambia, and England.

Where Is the U.S. on Global Tobacco?

In the latest issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association, visiting fellow Tom Bollyky and coauthor Lawrence Gostin make the case (gated) for increased U.S. engagement on global tobacco control. Tobacco use is currently the leading cause of disease and premature death in the world, tallying more deaths than HIV/AIDS, TB, and malaria combined.

Sudan’s Bumpy Debt Road Will Run Through Where? Vienna?

This is a joint post with Ross Thuotte.

Sudan’s crippling debt burden can be compared to an enormous onion – the story gets more and more complex as you begin peeling back the various layers. Yesterday, we wrote about Sudan’s two largest creditors – Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. But, there are countless other surprises beneath the surface. Here are three more: Austria, Denmark, and Belgium. These are not countries that one would automatically associate with Sudan. But, they are some of its largest creditors – collectively holding roughly $4.5 billion in claims.

RIP, Richard C. Holbrooke

Through the course of our work on a U.S. Development Strategy in Pakistan over the past year, anytime anyone asked us who we were trying to reach, whom we hoped to influence, our answer started with one name: Richard Holbrooke.

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