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Peterson Institute for International Economics
History and Background

The Peter G. Peterson Institute for International Economics is a private, nonprofit, nonpartisan research institution devoted to the study of international economic policy. Since 1981 the Institute has provided timely and objective analysis of, and concrete solutions to, a wide range of international economic problems. It is one of the very few economics think tanks that are widely regarded as "nonpartisan" by the press and "neutral" by the US Congress, and it is cited by the quality media more than any other such institution.

The Institute, which has been directed by C. Fred Bergsten throughout its existence, attempts to anticipate emerging issues and to be ready with practical ideas, presented in user-friendly formats, to inform and shape public debate. Its audience includes government officials and legislators, business and labor leaders, management and staff at international organizations, university-based scholars and their students, other research institutions and nongovernmental organizations, the media, and the public at large. It addresses these groups both in the United States and around the world.

The Institute''s staff of about 50 includes more than two dozen experts, who are conducting about 30 studies at any given time and are widely viewed as one of the top group of economists at any research center. Its agenda emphasizes global macroeconomic topics, international money and finance, trade and related social issues, energy and the environment, investment, and domestic adjustment measures. Current priority is attached to globalization (including its financial aspects) and the backlash against it, global trade imbalances and currency relationships, the creation of an international regime to address global warming and especially its international trade dimension, the competitiveness of the United States and other major countries, reform of the international economic and financial architecture and particularly sovereign wealth funds, and trade negotiations at the multilateral, regional, and bilateral levels. Institute staff and research cover all key regions—especially Asia, Europe, Latin America, and the Middle East, as well as the United States itself and with special reference to China, India, and Russia.

Institute studies have helped provide the intellectual foundation for many of the major international financial initiatives of the past two decades: reform of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), adoption of international banking standards, exchange rate systems in the G-7 and emerging-market economies, policies toward the dollar, the euro, and other important currencies, and responses to debt and currency crises. The Institute has made important contributions to key trade policy decisions including the Doha Round, the restoration and then the extension of trade promotion authority in the United States, the Uruguay Round and the development of the World Trade Organization, the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and other US free trade agreements (notably including Korea), Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) and East Asian regionalism, initiation of the Strategic Economic Dialogue between the United States and China, a series of United States–Japan negotiations, reform of sanctions policy, liberalization of US export controls and export credits, and specific measures such as permanent normal trade relations (PNTR) for China in 2000 and import protection for steel.

Other influential analyses have addressed economic reform in Europe, Japan, the former communist countries, and Latin America (including the Washington Consensus), the economic and social impact of globalization and policy responses to it, outsourcing, electronic commerce, corruption, foreign direct investment both into and out of the United States, global warming and international environmental policy, and key sectors such as agriculture, financial services, steel, telecommunications, and textiles.

The Institute averages one or more longer publications per month along with one or more Policy Briefs and working papers. It holds one or more luncheon or dinner meetings, seminars, or conferences almost every week to discuss topical international economic issues. Its Web site averages 243,000 visits and over 450,000 page views per month.

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