Despite demonstrable success in job creation and business growth, there are indications the president may sidestep the importance of trade in this year's State of the Union address. That would be a mistake.
The Bluegrass State's coal industry has been singing the blues of late, but they've been handed a small victory courtesy of Representative Hal Rogers (R-KY), who, surprise, surprise, has the coal industry to thank for filling his election coffers.
Can governments do anything to make their people more innovative? And, if they cannot, are we saying that those middle-income countries who fail to climb the technological ladder are "trapped" forever?
Out of the top 100 metros, 76 registered record volumes in export. Interestingly, 28 percent of total U.S. exports was attributed to the top ten metropolitan areas in 2012 -- Los Angeles, New York and Houston being the top three respectively.
If anything, China had to import all that. This should make industrialization relatively easier for Africa, a region super-rich in commodities. But that depends on how that wealth is spent. Is it going to build Africa's human capital?
Of all this week's international news -- the horrors in Kenya, Rouhani at the UN, the negotiations over Syria -- it is what some might call 'the boring German election' that will have the greatest long-term impact on the interests of the United States.
It is misleading to use gross data on exports and imports to calculate the extent to which trade contributes to economic growth, and affects the allocation of national resources. Products often cross borders more than once while being processed.
What we're seeing emerge is not a military or ideological counterweight to the United States in Russia and China, but rather a financial one that doesn't even need an army to fight it's wars, but only buyers.
The Sierra Club believes it is critical that governments make draft negotiating texts and country submissions publicly available. A new model of trade that benefits communities and the environment is possible, and it begins with public input and scrutiny.
Beyond more focused EU spending is also the responsibility of business to help bring down youth unemployment by showing what they have to offer Europe in order to make the transition from school to work flow more smoothly.
Coal exports are good for the environment -- they are actually saying this. In Oregon and Washington State the coal industry has been pushing this line at town hall meetings, government hearings, and lobby visits.
Despite the global economic situation, Colombia has shown resilience to external shocks in recent years, with reasonable economic performance in its region, in part due to responsible monetary policies conducted by the Central Bank.
What change in Colombia could possibly have led a Democratic president to implement a trade agreement over the objections of Democrats in Congress with the country infamous around the world for its violence against unionists?
As the Carnival in Brazil kicked off last weekend, Brazilians were ready for a party. They have reasons to celebrate. Despite a lackluster GDP performance in the last two years, unemployment rates remain at record low levels.
Rising demand for German goods, an improving business climate and stability in Spanish housing should have given markets cause for celebration. However, after the substantial rally we've seen, and the headwinds yet to be tackled within the region, caution has crept back into markets.