Local Leaders in the Global Economy

Many Americans are losing faith in the benefits of internationalism. But whether it’s wars in the Gaza Strip and Ukraine, worsening extreme weather as a result of climate change, or the trade-offs of globalization, events abroad are increasingly having a local impact. At the same time, more state and local officials in the United States are becoming involved in global affairs, conducting their own form of diplomacy on international issues and driving investment home. What role should the United States play in the world economy? And how do states and cities fit in?

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  • Gabrielle Sierra
    Director, Podcasting

Asher Ross - Supervising Producer

Markus Zakaria - Audio Producer and Sound Designer

Molly McAnany - Associate Podcast Producer

Episode Guests
  • Matthew P. Goodman
    Distinguished Fellow and Director of the Greenberg Center for Geoeconomic Studies
  • Nina Hachigian
    U.S. Special Representative for City and State Diplomacy

Show Notes

The global economy seems to be at an inflection point. Geopolitical tensions are mounting across the world, and other governments are questioning the United States’ commitment to the international system it built after World War II. Some experts are pushing for Washington to adopt a new consensus, one that maintains the economic benefits of the past century while acknowledging that an increased U.S. focus on international trade came with severe consequences for millions of Americans; CFR is creating a new initiative to go beyond the New York and Washington bubbles and study what Americans think about U.S. leadership in the global economy. 


At the heart of this effort are state and local officials, who have always worked behind the scenes on international issues. In 2022, however, the State Department created a new office to formally bring local leaders into the international fold, and federal legislation created hundreds of billions of dollars’ worth of subsidies for U.S. manufacturing, which have already attracted big investments from overseas. 


Read about the RealEcon Initiative



From CFR


CFR State and Local Officials Initiative


Noah Berman and Anshu Siripurapu, “Is Industrial Policy Making a Comeback?” 


Jennifer Hillman and Inu Manak, “Rethinking International Rules on Subsidies” 


From Our Guests


Matthew P. Goodman “Policymaking Is All About Trade-Offs,” CFR.org


Nina Hachigian, “The Untapped Potential of Local Diplomacy,” Newsweek


Read More


Edward Alden, “Failure to Adjust: How Americans Got Left Behind in the Global Economy


Earl H. Frey, “The Expanding Role of State and Local Governments in U.S. Foreign Affairs


Subnational Diplomacy Unit, U.S. Department of State


Watch and Listen


Reimagining American Economic Leadership,” CFR.org


A Turning Point for Global Trade,” Why It Matters


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