The Peterson Institute for International Economics is a private nonpartisan nonprofit institution for rigorous, intellectually open, and indepth study and discussion of international economic policy. Its purpose is to identify and analyze important issues to make globalization beneficial and sustainable for the people of the United States and the world and then to develop and communicate practical new approaches for dealing with them.
The Institute attempts to anticipate emerging issues and to be ready with practical ideas, presented in useful and accessible 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 globally from its base in Washington.
The Institute's staff of about 60 includes 20 senior researchers, as well as a dozen nonresident fellows, all distinguished for their combination of research productivity and policy experience. The Institute's agenda emphasizes international trade and investment, international finance and exchange rates, macroeconomic policy and crisis response, globalization and human welfare, and area studies of key economic regions. Institute staff have unique expertise on the major economies with special reference to China, India, Japan, Korea, Russia, the European Union, and the Middle East, as well as the United States itself and its NAFTA partners.
Current priorities include global supply chains and multinational investment; the growing role of China in the world economy; the economic dimensions of the Arab Spring; globalization, inequality, and unemployment; the global financial and economic crisis and especially its banking and monetary components; national and international financial regulations; trade negotiations at the multilateral, regional, and bilateral levels; and possible reforms of the international monetary system.
Institute studies have helped provide the intellectual foundation for many of the major international policy initiatives of the past three decades: reforms of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), including those initiated by the G-20 in 2009–10; adoption of international banking standards; Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum and Trans-Pacific Partnership; the restoration and then extension of trade promotion authority in the United States; North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and other US free trade agreements (including with Korea notably); initiation of the Strategic and Economic Dialogue between the United States and China; reform of sanctions policy; liberalization of US export controls and export credits; and specific trade issues such as permanent normal trade relations (PNTR) for China in 2000 and Russia in 2012.
Other influential analyses have addressed: economic reform in Europe, Japan, the former communist countries, and Latin America (including what became known as the Washington Consensus); the social impact of globalization; foreign direct investment both into and out of the United States; international environmental policy; measures of currency manipulation and of equilibrium exchange rates; and the sources and growth of services trade.
The Institute celebrated its 25th anniversary [pdf] in 2006 and adopted its new name at that time, having previously been the Institute for International Economics. In 2001 it moved into its new building, which received an Award of Excellence for Extraordinary Achievement in Architecture by the American Institute of Architects and a Best Architecture in Washington Award by the Washington Business Journal.