Our Five Policy Pillars
Advance Inclusive Economic Opportunity at Home and Abroad
Pursue Smart and Tough Trade
Meet the China Challenge
Lead on Climate Change
Integrate Development, Trade and Diplomatic Policies
The American Leadership Initiative had a policy discussion on Meeting the China Challenge with seven members of Congress and senior congressional staff, along with thought leaders from business, think tank and civil society communities. The discussion centered on developing a new paradigm for addressing the economic challenge posed by China, using the China paradigm piece as a framework for the discussion.
Six members of Congress participated in ALI’s Trade Policy Forum discussing a new paradigm for trade policy. Thought leaders from think tanks, business and civil society, along with senior congressional staff joined the discussion.
What We’re Thinking
The U.S.-China relationship is one of the key challenges facing America today. The current Administration has pursued a trade war that is quickly moving towards a cold war and economic disengagement that undermines American interests.
President Donald Trump’s tariffs-by-tweet tendencies and brinkmanship on both sides of the negotiating table have led to a breakdown in talks with China, an escalating trade war, and no doubt many sleepless nights in Beijing and in American boardrooms. But for the United States, the unease is misdirected.
Rapid technological advancement and an increasingly interconnected global economy are fundamentally changing the landscape in which U.S. businesses and workers must compete. For workers to succeed in tomorrow’s economy, we must ensure they have the tools and support they need to transition and adapt. But unlike many of our foreign competitors, the United States had no strategic plan for managing this economic transition, much less one for winning the future.
Most of the Democrats now running for president are embracing policies to address climate change, a welcome change from an administration that is digging its head in the proverbial sand on this issue.
Over the past couple of years, Latin America has been torn apart by the largest global corruption scandal in modern history. Its web of bribes spread across four continents and at least 12 countries -- implicating the highest levels of government in some and prompting the biggest fine, $3.5 billion, ever levied by the U.S. Department of Justice.
In the U.S.-China trade war, the Trump administration has been playing checkers while Beijing plays chess. Rather than protecting American interests by being tough, our government has been undermining our own natural advantages, while enabling China’s own successful economic and geopolitical strategies.
Even before the explosion of trade-related news generated by President Donald Trump’s election, there were calls for reform in the World Trade Organization.
Two main issues face the organization: the challenge to market economy principles and practices from an ascendant China, as well as increasing populist, protectionist and isolationist pressures around the world, including in the United States (1) .
Melanie Hart and Kelly Magsamen at the Center for American Progress have written a compelling piece on how the U.S. should approach its relationship with China, which aligns with many of ALI's China policy recommendations. Their piece has three components- Limit, Leverage and Compete.
America is facing a significant skills shortage with nearly seven million job openings, many of which are middle class jobs, and not enough Americans with the right skills to fill those jobs. A majority of these job openings require training beyond high school but not a college degree, a trend that is expected to continue in the decades ahead.
One of ALI’s key policy pillars is that U.S. global policies should lead to inclusive and sustainable trade at home and abroad. Tariffs are a regressive tax that hit the poorest American consumers the hardest. At the same time, the highest tariffs U.S. are typically on textiles and agriculture products, which tend to be the main exports of the world’s poorest countries. The current penchant for increasing tariffs disproportionally hits disadvantaged groups both at home and abroad.
Robert M. Perito and Ambassador Donald J. Planty recently published a new report on United States rule of law assistance, entitled Frontier Justice” A New Approach to U.S. Rule of Law Assistance. The report is focused on U.S. aid to three categories of states in crisis that are important to U.S. national security interests: (1) the northern-tier states of Central America—Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras—that are experiencing extreme levels of organized criminal violence;
North America faces an alarming skills gap that will negatively affect the economic performance an competitiveness of the United States, Canada and Mexico, as they prepare to embark on the United States, Mexico and Canada Agreement (USMCA). Simultaneously, all the countries are facing rapid economic and technological transformations. This set of challenges calls for priority investment in the development of the continent's workforces.