Term Project Instructions

Term Project Instructions - UNIVERSITY OF SOUTHERN...

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Unformatted text preview: UNIVERSITY OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA Marshall School of Business INTERNATIONAL TRADE AND COMMERCIAL POLICY/FBE 462 Professor Aris Protopapadakis TERM PROJECT INSTRUCTIONS You have a choice between two types of projects: 1. Choose a topic from the list below discuss the issue briefly, and analyze (a) the current positions of the major nations and (b) the trade-offs each believes it faces. 2. Choose a country from the list below and discover and analyze critically its trade policy and its negotiating position in the Doha Round. I will consider proposals that are not listed here. TOPICS Special Topics: There are many controversial topics in trade relations, and the list is growing. You may choose one of these topics and discuss, analyze, and evaluate the arguments of the principal “combatants”. Your evaluation must be guided by your knowledge and understanding of trade theory and its applications. Suggested Topics: (1) the treatment of genetically modified foods, (2) energy policies and subsidies, (3) Alternative energy prospects, (4) energy independence as discussed in the U.S., (5) foreign direct investment and foreign ownership, (6) should there be special rules or restrictions for sovereign funds (if you are not a finance major this is probably not a good topic choice)? (7) agricultural tariffs and subsidies, (8) environmental and conservation issues in the context of international trade, (9) intellectual property rights, (10) “affordable” prices for “life-saving” medicines for underdeveloped countries, (11) how do the recent U.S. and other country bailouts and subsidies fit into the WTO framework? Project Instructions Country Analysis: As an alternative to the special topics above, you may choose to study the trade policies of one of the following countries: Suggested Countries: (1) Argentina, (2) Brazil, (3) Canada, (4) Chile, (5) Egypt, (6) The European Union, (7) India, (8) Israel, (9) Japan, (10) Korea, (11) Mexico, (12) The People’s Republic of China, (13) Taiwan, (14) Turkey, (15) the United States, (16) Vietnam. Your report should concentrate on the main features of the country’s (or group’s) trade policies, not every possible detail. The important areas to focus on are (i) agriculture, (ii) manufactured products, (iii) services, (iv) intellectual property rights, (v) foreign ownership rules, and (vi) the treatment of foreign direct investment. Your report must go well beyond a listing of the current policies and the negotiating positions in the Doha round. You need to analyze the apparent reasons for these policies, and you also need to evaluate them in light of your knowledge of trade theory and its applications. 2 Project Instructions DELIVERABLES For the due dates please consult the Course Schedule. Form teams and choose your topic. Please submit to me your proposed team and three topics, in order of preference, by the due date. E-mail works best. Neither the team nor the topic is final until I approve it. Project Report #1: By the due date, please submit a summary (max 2 pages) of: 1. the outline of your report, 2. a list of the important resources that you have consulted (please omit the textbook or the class lectures!), 3. the difficulties and unresolved issues you are facing. Project Report #2: By the due date, please submit a two-page summary of: 1. a revised and expanded outline of your report, a) this outline should include a sentence or so for each main item, describing very briefly, the gist of your “take” on it. 2. your resolution (or your plan for resolving) the difficulties and unresolved issued in your 1st report (item 3). Final Report: I expect the report to be no more than 10-12 pages long, with standard margins and type. This count excludes the Executive Summary, which should be on a separate page, as well as tables, graphs, etc. that you may choose to attach. You must submit a printed report to me on the due date, as well as e-mail me your report. I will post all the reports with the class material, after the presentations are completed. You may use the standard report format or you may choose to create an annotated power point presentation. 3 Project Instructions ORGANIZATION OF THE REPORT 1. Executive summary: A brief summary of the major findings in your report. Under no circumstances should this exceed one double-spaced page. It is not an introduction; rather, it is a summary of the main results or findings. It should be on a separate page. 2. Introduction/Report/Conclusion: Your findings, analysis, conclusions (10-12 pages). 3. Bibliography: List the complete references only of the material you actually use in the report. Complete titles, publisher and place of publication, dates, volume numbers, pages, etc. Please don’t list the textbook and the class notes. Do list websites and other internet material you consulted. 4. Tables and Figures: Attach any necessary figures (graphs) and tables. DO NOT INCLUDE ANY MATERIAL THAT YOU DO NOT SPECIFICALLY AND MEANINGFULLY REFER TO IN YOUR REPORT. Figures and Tables have to be numbered consecutively in the order that they are referred to in the text, and they must have a title. Numbers for Tables and Figures are separate (e.g., Table 1, Figure 1, etc.). Any calculations or specific numbers that you may need to support or illustrate your argument should be put either in the Tables and Figures section or in small tables the body of the text. Make sure the tables and figures are self-explanatory. ANNOTATED POWER POINTS You may find this approach more interesting that the standard report format. However, it does not mean less work. Generally it is harder to do this successfully. The way annotated power points work is that you put bullet points and summaries in the slides themselves, and then you put all the necessary information in the notes section of each slide. Advantages: It is easier to make sure that here is logical continuity and good flow in the report and in you presentation. It is easier to find the weak points in your argument. It helps you prepare presentation slides at the same time as you write the report. Disadvantages: It is considerably harder to organize properly. It is more difficult to make the slides themselves sufficiently succinct and sparse and at the same time put enough information in the notes. If you choose this approach, please refrain from visual embellishments, flying objects, special effects, etc. It is the substance that counts; the rest wastes time while it is happening! 4 Project Instructions PROJECT PRESENTATION You will have 10 minutes for your presentation, and there will be time for Q&A. From personal experience you know that 10 minutes only sounds like a lot of time; in fact it is not! To make your presentation successful and informative, you need to budget your time carefully. You may choose to use power point slides but it is not required. If you use slides, 6 – 7 slides is about all you can go through in that time frame; don’t even THINK about more than 10 slides! You must e-mail me the slides the day before your presentation. I will then set them up on the computer so that we spend a minimum amount of time hunting down and loading presentations. PROJECTS WITHOUT TEARS Here are some suggestions that will help you complete your report successfully and on time. Be committed! Exchange contact information. It is important that all members of the group commit themselves to consistent, hard, and timely work in order to complete the project successfully. Try to work it out if a group member doesn’t invest the appropriate amount of time. I will intervene as discretely as possible if members of a team request it. Start early! This is essential to get a good score for the project and a good grade for the course. Interact With Me! The more and earlier you come to my office the better. Flag me down before or after class, or communicate by e-mail. Read and follow the project instructions. Print out the report well before the deadline! Experience shows that computers and hard drives crash, printers malfunction, and data are lost just before any deadline. 5 Project Instructions GENERAL DATA AND INFORMATION SOURCES 1. The WTO website should be on the top of your list of places to start. 2. The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU; accessible through Marshall's Electronic Resources) has country descriptions, summaries, discussions of current policies, and updates. The stuff is well done and it is updated regularly. It is a good place to get an overview. 3. The CIA factbooks (in their website) also have a lot of information, political and economic. 4. The OECD website contains a lot of information and statistics for all the OECD countries AND many others. This is also the case for the UN. 5. The Economist carries regular news items for most of the countries and issues you are looking at. In addition they have periodic "Surveys" and country studies that do a very good of dealing with most of the important economic issues. 6. At some point, particularly if you are looking for specific information or analysis, you should do an article search through Lexis etc. 7. The International Trade Links posted in Blackboard has a rich set of sites you may find helpful. 8. Finally, I have up-to-date historic data for all the countries that you are dealing with, courtesy of the IMF database. If you need some data, ask me. Also, I will circulate a list of the teams and the topic they are working on. Not only there is no prohibition to cross-team collaboration I would like to encourage it. Only, make sure you give appropriate credit to people outside your team that provided substantive (not only substantial) help. 6 ...
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