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Council on Foreign Relations State and Local Officials Bulletin
June 2012

June 2012

Road to Nowhere?

An Assessment of Federal Transportation Infrastructure Policy

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CFR's Renewing America Initiative recently launched "Road to Nowhere: Federal Transportation Infrastructure Policy," the first installment in a series of progress reports and scorecards on issues tied to the nation's competitiveness. The report and set of accompanying infographics provide a critical assessment of federal transportation policy, including background on major policy initiatives, and analysis of what's needed to get U.S. transportation infrastructure back on track. Among other things, the report identifies transportation and infrastructure shortcomings in the United States, compares the quality of U.S. infrastructure to that of our international competitors, analyzes the increasing burden a weak infrastrucutre policy has on state and local governments, and provides recommendations for Washington.


2013-2014 CFR Fellowships Competitions

The Council on Foreign Relations' (CFR) Fellowship Program offers unique opportunities for mid-career professionals who are interested in pursuing proposed research and broadening their perspective on international issues that affect the priorities and agendas of state and local governments. Click here to learn more about the program, fellowship opportunities, and application process.

Obama and Romney React to Immigration Ruling

CFR's Campaign 2012 blog analyzes the reactions of the presidential candidates to the Supreme Court's recent decision on Arizona's controversial immigration law. The court upheld a provision of the law that requires police to check the immigration status of anyone arrested or stopped at routine traffic checkpoints. While Romney did not comment on the Court's decision, President Obama used the opportunity to promote his call for comprehensive immigration reform. Weigh in on the the issue and join CFR as we track issues at the forefront of the campaign. Contribute to the Conversation »

Foreign Language Instruction as a National Priority

The global economy is shifting away from the English-speaking world and the current education system in the United States is ill-equipped to deal with the changing landscape. According to the authors of a new CFR Policy Innovation Memorandum, the "promotion of foreign language instruction should be a national priority" especially since "future U.S. growth will increasingly depend on selling U.S. goods and services to foreign consumers" who may not speak English. The report highlights the nation's education shortcomings in this area and recommends that the United States adopt a broad-based national Languages for Jobs Initiative to provide state and local governments the resources they need to educate the public in languages that will be critical to our future success in trade and investment. To learn more, read the report, "A 'Languages for Jobs' Initiative" »

Reshaping the Future of Energy in North America

Listen to Rex Tillerson, chief executive officer of Exxon Mobil, discuss the trajectory of global oil and energy markets and the potential for energy security in the United States.

To read CFR Fellow for Latin America Studies Shannon K. O'Neil's summary of Tillerson's talk, visit her CFR blog, Latin America's Moment.

Are We Losing Canada?

In this Foreign Affairs snapshot, Derek H. Burney, senior strategic adviser at Norton Rose Canada, and Fen Osler Hampson, director of Carleton University's Norman Paterson School of International Affairs, analyze the Obama administration's neglectful behavior toward their Canadian neighbors. Burney and Hampson cite the White House's decision to delay construction of the Keyston XL pipeline, Canada's shift toward more reliable economic partners in Asia and its scaling back of involvement in Afghanistan, and squabbles over Arctic waters as examples of a deteriorating relationship. Canada and the United States are each other's number-one trading partner, but the authors warn that "as Canada develops closer ties with China and finds more receptive outlets for its exports, the United States may find itself with a less obliging partner to trade with in the north." Read More from Foreign Affairs »