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April 15, 2021
The world is currently at an inflection point – Western leaders can choose to continue blocking the TRIPS waiver and lock in a cycle of dependence or empower poorer countries to develop generic vaccines and build infrastructure that will safely put the pandemic behind us. Critiques of the TRIPS waiver claim that most poor countries lack the infrastructure to carry out vaccine operations – a paternalistic view that suggests that manufacturing capacity, supply chain management, and logistics are static in nature. The sooner we act, the more time poorer countries have to begin mobilizing resources needed to make generic vaccine development possible.
April 09, 2021
As pressure mounts on the United States government to support waiving intellectual property (IP) protections on the COVID-19 vaccines at the World Trade Organization, progressives are closely monitoring the Biden administration’s appointments to agencies that impact intellectual property matters such as the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).
February 11, 2021
Since fintech apps provide a wide range of financial services, there are many potential harms to leaving the industry largely under-regulated — especially since many fintech and cryptocurrency firms design their products to narrowly evade existing laws that define certain types of financial products, and thus, the regulations to which they are subject.
February 04, 2021 | American Prospect
As grinding as the cabinet fights have been, they’re only the first wave of the Biden administration’s personnel. Now comes a new stage of the transition, in which the newly-named secretaries choose their own undersecretaries and senior advisers. Although occupants of these positions typically operate outside the national spotlight, they still wield enormous power.
February 01, 2021 | The Intercept
Fintech is neither inherently good nor bad; rather, like any technology, its potential impact on society is closely tied to the policy decisions guiding its use — and the next four years could define how much the fintech industry is able to shape the financial system. Left to their own devices, fintech firms could swindle average people through ill-advised day-trading or high-interest loans, usher new systemic risks into the financial system, and develop traceable, privately owned currencies with the potential to replace cash.
January 22, 2021
As President Biden continues to staff his administration, the nascent fintech industry will be keeping close watch on the personnel appointed to key regulatory positions. It would be prudent to keep private fintech evangelists away from the positions that are responsible for regulating these firms and cryptocurrencies.
January 21, 2021
If appointed to Biden’s OCC, Barr will confront one major new question for the primary federal regulator of banks: how to handle the emergent “fintech” industry of lending and payments apps. Disturbingly, Barr’s history advising and investing in the fintech industry suggests an approach similar to Trump’s own fintech-friendly stooge, former acting Comptroller Brian Brooks.
November 24, 2020
Michèle Flournoy and The Ongoing Influence of WestExec Advisors
As we proposed in the Prospect, Biden’s administration can pursue a progressive national security agenda that prioritizes diplomacy over military action, opposes regime change interventions, reduces the Pentagon’s budget, and condemns governments that violate human rights. But to do so, Biden must also end the defense industry’s influence on the executive branch and turn to individuals without deep conflicts.
October 23, 2020
Breaking With the Trade Consensus
Over the past decades, U.S. trade policies have primarily served the interests of corporate America. The result? The American worker experienced few if any of the promised benefits of globalization. President Trump seized upon this in his bid for the Presidency in 2016, but his declaration of China as an enemy and ill-advised trade war have only widened the trade deficit he vowed to close. The data show that the trade deficit reached $67 billion in August, its highest level since August 2006. More so, job growth in the manufacturing sector has been on decline since before the pandemic. Indeed, the current deficit in manufactured goods, $84 billion, is the largest on record with data starting in 1992.
October 14, 2020
The fossil fuel industry depends on financial institutions to survive. And banks, for their part, pull in big profits from underwriting climate disaster. That’s why, if Joe Biden wins in November, his pick for Treasury Secretary must be an aggressive advocate for climate action. The Treasury Department has untapped capacity to push financial institutions and insurance companies to take the risks of the climate crisis seriously. While his legislative proposals elicit proper close scrutiny, his choice of Treasury Secretary is arguably among Biden’s most important climate policy decisions.
September 17, 2020
The Revolving Door Project on Foreign Policy
For too long, American foreign policy decisions have been controlled by the wealthy and well-connected, trampling on the rights and interests of regular people, both at home and abroad. These decisions, including corporate negotiated trade deals and continued engagement in armed conflict abroad, have failed all but a small clique of committed warhawks, defense contractors, and international corporations.
August 18, 2020 | American Prospect
Rather than turning to neoliberal veterans of the Clinton and Obama administrations who have bounced between government positions and the private sector, Biden should appoint those with a proven track record of effectively advancing the public interest.
May 11, 2020
Diplomacy by Donors
On December 18, 2019, the United States House of Representatives impeached President Donald Trump for withholding military aid from Ukraine as a means to pressure Vladimir Zelensky to investigate Democratic presidential candidate, Joe Biden. One of the key figures in this scandal was Gordon Sondland, then ambassador to the European Union. Sondland had limited diplomatic experience before his appointment, but he had the privilege of donating $1 million to President Trump’s inaugural committee.