President Trump asserts that the U.S. economy is a disaster and that he alone can fix it. The truth is that the U.S. economy is doing better than most Americans realize, and activist attempts to fix what ain’t broke are one of the gravest threats to it. What’s at stake is not simply that the president is vague or wrong about the facts. It’s that bad facts make for bad policy.
When then-President Bill Clinton signed the North American Free Trade Agreement in a White House ceremony in December 1993, he called it “a defining moment” for the United States and praised Mexico and Canada as “our partners in the future that we are trying to make together.” All three countries had made what then seemed like an irreversible decision to marry their economic futures. Yet today, less than a quarter-century later, those bonds are badly fraying.
Benn Steil and Emma Smith show how China mirrors the U.S. “exorbitant privilege” from minting the world’s primary reserve currency. While the United States is deeply indebted to the rest of the world, it still earns far more abroad than it pays out. China, in contrast, has become the world’s largest creditor while paying foreigners far more than it receives. Steil and Smith argue that China is making itself vulnerable to financial crisis by massively subsidizing its geostrategic objectives.
In a special section of Global Policy edited by Miles Kahler, five authors examine the opportunities and risks presented by regional institutions across five issue areas: finance, trade, development lending, human rights, and peace operations.
Donald Trump came to Washington determined to shake up America’s economic relations with the world, to pursue what he has unapologetically called an “America first” strategy “to benefit American workers and American families." At the heart of that strategy is restoring manufacturing to its former glory, writes Edward Alden.
Meghan O’Sullivan argues that the Trump Administration’s immigration ban undermines the United States’ ability to secure Iraqi cooperation against the Islamic State, thereby jeopardizing the United States ability to defeat the terror group.
Germany’s foreign minister reports “astonishment and agitation.” The French president protests indignantly about unsolicited “outside advice .” Even Secretary of State John F. Kerry sees behavior that is “inappropriate.” President-elect Donald Trump’s weekend interview, in which he casually predicted the breakup of the European Union, has certainly attracted attention.
Many government policies now "lock in" mature clear energy technologies while blocking out innovative alternatives. Here's Varun Sivaram's plan to transform lock-in barriers into bridges for technological succession.
Steven A. Tananbaum Senior Fellow for International Economics Robert Kahn writes that markets showed impressive resilience in the face of a range of geopolitical shocks in 2016, but recent market moves suggest this year could be different. A greater range of possible, if unlikely, political challenges, as well as U.S. monetary policy normalization, could bring a crisis back to the fore.
Authors: Varun Sivaram, Colin McCormick, and David Hart Morning Consult
Varun Sivaram builds the case for energy innovation under the Trump Administration. He argues that President Trump should focus the government on technology-specific missions, reform the sprawling set of energy-focused federal institutions, and invest in research and development.
Last week, the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS), part of the U.S. Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, released its 2015 mortality statistics, which showed U.S. life expectancy fell from 78.9 to 78.8 years over the prior year. It is worth putting these results in the context of long-term trends in U.S. life expectancy and comparing them to other nations. Three lessons emerge when you do.
The defeat of Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi’s constitutional reforms is another sign that voter anger over poor economic performance is driving anti-establishment politics across Europe, says CFR’s Sebastian Mallaby.
In Market Madness, Blake C. Clayton shows that predictions of dwindling oil supplies and a rise in prices have been empirically proven incorrect. Technological advances and geopolitical shifts have repeatedly prompted sudden, severe drops in oil prices—exactly like the one we are experiencing today.
In By All Means Necessary, Elizabeth C. Economy and Michael Levi explore the unrivaled expansion of the Chinese economy. China is now engaged in a far-flung quest, hunting around the world for resources, and deploying whatever it needs in the economic, political, and military spheres to secure them. More
In Money, Markets, and Sovereignty, the authors present a fascinating intellectual history of monetary nationalism from the ancient world to the present and explore why, in its modern incarnation, it represents the single greatest threat to globalization. More
In The Closing of the American Border, Edward Alden goes behind the scenes to tell the story of the Bush administration's struggle to balance security and openness in the wake of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. More