Emilia Istrate

This week, the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) released a new forecast of the global growth for the next two years. The good news is that emerging markets might pick up slightly, but nothing to the levels seen before the global recession.

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Earlier this week, the Association of International Educators (NAFSA) released new estimates of the expenditures of international students in the United States during the 2011-2012 academic year. According to the organization, this education spending (which count as exports) totaled about $21.8 billion last year in the 50 U.S.

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Tonight, President Obama will accept the Democratic Party nomination with a speech in which he will lay out the case for a second term. The context, of course, is the volatility of the past four years in the U.S. economy and the entire global economy, marked by deep recession and weak recoveries in the developed economies and cooling growth in emerging markets. What about the long term? After all, the long-term game on jobs is competitiveness.

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Earlier this week, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) lowered its growth forecast for the global economy for this year and next. It seems that both developed and developing countries are going to expand more slowly than expected earlier this year. In a pattern also seen in 2011, the United States is experiencing a loss of momentum and the Eurozone countries are still stuck in a sovereign debt quagmire.

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In this week’s TIME Magazine and on last Sunday’s CNN prime-time special, Fareed Zakaria focused on the shortcomings of the U.S. immigration policy and its current and future impact upon the U.S. economy. A lot of the discussion was about the inability of high-skilled immigrants to stay in the United States and how it influences the competitiveness of U.S.-based companies. In a related post, my colleagues Neil Ruiz and Jill Wilson touch upon this subject in an explanation of the recently-reached H1B cap for fiscal year 2013.

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Earlier this week, after a lengthy period of uncertainty, the Senate passed the reauthorization of the Export-Import Bank (Ex-Im Bank) of the United States. This is good news, as my colleague Devashree Saha has detailed in other postings, as the Ex-Im Bank is an important element of our National Export Initiative and a critical source of needed financing for would-be U.S. exporters. And yet, there is still work to do to ensure that the Ex-Im Bank keeps pace with the fast-changing U.S. economy and the latest dynamics of U.S.

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The Great Recession forced U.S. companies to think in new ways about their growth and survival in the coming years. In 2010, the first year of the recovery, U.S. domestic demand remained sluggish, so American businesses looked for clients outside their  borders, especially in emerging markets, where most global growth has been taking place in recent years. As a result, U.S. exports increased rapidly in the first year of recovery, by more than 11 percent in real terms, the highest growth since 1997. Increased trade has a direct and positive impact on the economy overall and on job creation.

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Yesterday, the World Bank released a new less optimistic forecast for global growth in 2012. It warrants a look back at the year that just passed. 2011 was marked by slower growth in both developed and developing countries. The protests of Arab Spring, Japan’s catastrophic earthquake, and the Eurozone’s debt problems contributed to slower growth around the world. But in the midst of a sluggish uneven recovery, a new economic order is being built, one that has major implications for U.S.

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Often when making the case for U.S. infrastructure investment, someone will point overseas to Europe or Asia and wonder aloud why other countries have world-class, economy-shaping infrastructure and the United States doesn’t. There are obviously many reasons but a key problem is that, unlike other nations, the United States is still over-reliant on the public sector for delivering infrastructure projects. Today, those public resources are strained, especially for transportation projects.

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Two new reports show the impact of the record number of foreign students studying in the United States.  According to the Institute of International Education, more than 723,000 international students attended higher education in the United States during the 2010-2011 academic year, about 3.5 percent of the total higher education enrollment.  While the number of foreign students might tell us something about the attractiveness of U.S. universities, their spending is classified as a U.S.

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