Michael Kellner is a former Deputy Assistant Secretary of State, a former Congressional National Security Advisor, and is the current Director of the Nathan Cummings Foundation’s Center for the Prevention of Genocide.
What’s the United States economy is doing, and why does America think it can see into future markets in a way the rest of the world won’t?
For America’s economic friends, it’s kind of dangerous. You want to concentrate on the wrong things, and they’ll want you to concentrate on the wrong things. The Trump administration, like most administrations, is too focused on our neighbors up north who are never going to do the things the United States wants them to do. Because they’re not foolish enough to do it. So for the United States to be working so hard on sanctions to make them behave better, those are not the right areas for the U.S. to focus on. When I think of looking east and west in economic terms, look west and east in terms of technology and critical infrastructure. Technology, as we all know, is the thing that powers economic globalization. But right now, if we look at the international for-sale market that China is outselling us economically. What I see in China is a very Chinese approach to the rest of the world. That makes the U.S. very reactive. The U.S. very reactive in the international for-sale market. Make things stop, and that’s it. No creativity to do something else. That makes for a lousy place to make an investment. The good side of this is that probably, in terms of economic success, China in many, many decades going forward is going to be an economic success, a far more powerful economic power than the United States ever has been in all these years. The second part of the danger for the U.S. is that it’s making the entire international for-sale market very nervous. They’re all starting to wake up from their slumber, and they’re trying to figure out what they should do about it. I can tell you what we should do about it. Get on with it and say, “Hey, no matter what the United States wants, we will not put up with these acts.” Well, that’s not going to work. Because other nations start thinking that maybe the U.S. isn’t as great an economic power as it used to be. They start considering their own possibilities in how they can make themselves strong. Then, too, the sophistication of the technology that everyone’s working with leaves us basically at the mercy of them. We can’t do everything they do, because we’re not all that sophisticated in those particular fields. They can. They can make this a better place to make an investment.
Bogdan Medeiros is the president of Grabad Consulting. He previously served as a senior advisor to the Prime Minister of Romania, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Department of the Prime Minister of Romania.