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HKS in the News May 1, 2012

1. Workers of the World Divide (Western) Foreign Affairs

2. Obama withholds comment on Chen case (Burns) CNN

3. Latin American trade barriers seen backfiring (Hausmann) Reuters

Workers of the World Divide

Foreign Affairs

May/June 2012

Commentary by: Bruce Western, Malcolm Wiener Center

Topic: The decline of unions

Since the middle of the last century, the American labor movement has been in steady decline. In the early 1950s, around one-third of the United States' total labor force was unionized. Today, just one-tenth remains so. Unionization of the private sector is even lower, at five percent. Over the last few decades, unions' influence has waned and workers' collective voice in the political process has weakened. Partly as a result, wages have stagnated and income inequality has increased. …

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Obama withholds comment on Chen case


May 1

Quoted: Nicholas Burns, Belfer Center

Topic: Human rights issues in China

As Secretary of State Hillary Clinton prepared to depart Monday night for China, President Barack Obama was tight-lipped about the whereabouts of escaped Chinese activist Chen Guangcheng and his potential impact on the discussions to be held this week in Beijing. …

R. Nicholas Burns , who was an undersecretary of state for political affairs under George W. Bush, praised the Obama administration's low-key handling of the matter. "I just think that the administration is right to try to handle this privately right now because that does not put the Chinese in an embarrassing situation publicly," he told CNN's Christiane Amanpour.

"In the end, this will be a humiliation for China -- that a human rights activist, a great man, someone whom we all admire, was able to escape house arrest, make his way to Beijing," he said. "That's going to put a big spotlight on the deficiencies of the Chinese system, on their outright violations of human rights and, I would think, in the end, this will be a defeat for China." …

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Latin American trade barriers seen backfiring


April 30

Quoted: Ricardo Hausmann, Center for International Development

Topic: Protectionism in Latin American trade

Import restrictions imposed by Argentina and Brazil may end up harming the very domestic industries they are trying to protect and also could affect other economies in Latin America.

Trade experts and policymakers from trading partners are dismayed by signs of protectionism creeping back to the region, which embraced free trade only in the 1980s after decades of inward-looking policies. …

Harvard academic Ricardo Hausmann, whose native Venezuela upset Colombia's economic recovery by virtually shutting down bilateral trade in 2009 in a political dispute, said protected industries also missed the benefits of competition.

"(They are) less productive because they can only cater to a small domestic market and not benefit from the scale that a global market would offer," he said. …

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Broadcast Notes

Nicholas Burns, Belfer Center

CNN “John King USA,” 4/30

Topic: US- China relations

This selection of media appearances is compiled by the Office of Communications and Public Affairs .

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