Connecting American Foreign Policy to Economic Policy

From the collection Trade

Although 150 years of political strife over the nature and side-effects of the capitalist system has been brought to a close by the fall of communism, the flaws and deficiencies of the free enterprise system, including economic inequality, market failure, and the chronic instability of the business cycle, have remained. Because a number of these problems have the potential to cause catastrophic disruptions of both the global economy and modern society, they are a major source of instability in the international system and, hence, of major importance from a foreign policy perspective.

This roundtable looked at how America could evolve its economic and foreign policy to better work together and make a more positive impact on the world. Can we promote the adoption of economic ideals abroad and help reshape the global economy for the benefit of all?

We also looked at how foreign policy could more positively impact the domestic American economy. One of the long-term threats to American national security is the hollowing out of the middle class and the increasing economic stratification of American society. Our roundtable will explore how the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and other potential global economic policies could impact the economy at home.

We discussed the implications of America’s defense spending and our actions abroad on the domestic economy. How can the U.S. promote trade policies that would enhance shared prosperity on the home front? Can national defense policies with lower military budgets shift public resources and help rebuild the American middle class?

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