A highlight from Foreign Policy for the Middle Class, With Rozlyn Engel

Automatic TRANSCRIPT

A c. Our podcast want foreign policy challenges facing the united states. I'm jim lindsey director studies at the council on foreign relations. This week's topic is a foreign policy for the middle collapse with being discussed relationship between foreign policy and the success of the american middle class is roslyn ankle. Rossouw distinguished professor of the practice and economics at the us naval academy in a non resident scholar in the geo economics strategy program at the carnegie endowment for international peace. She is also the founder and president of the world affairs council of new jersey from two thousand sixteen to two thousand eighteen. Ross served as a senior career executive at the treasury department in charge of us macroeconomic analysis from two thousand and thirteen. Two thousand sixteen. She was a national intelligence manager and national intelligence officer for economics in the office of the director of national intelligence. Ross has also held several teaching and research positions within the department of defense. Ross thanks for joining me. Glad to be your thanks for having me well loss. The idea of a foreign policy for middle-class has gotten a lot of attention. Recent months with the biden administration in a lot of people. Trace it back to report let you co edited that was published last year by the carnegie endowment on making. Us foreign policy work better for the middle class. So perhaps you could start big picture which is what do you mean when you say if foreign policy for the middle class sure are so i think i might get a little bit of background to the report the task force the matheny the motivation. Because i think it's actually kind of helpful in understanding how where we landed for so that report came out of the work of a bipartisan task. Force that worked over a little more than two years out of the carnegie endowment. I would say that the election of two thousand sixteen with something of a trigger that created a lot of soul searching in washington among a lot of foreign policy experts and practitioners with e. Kind of you know. America first agenda that emerged the trump administration which really represented Sharp repudiation of Kind of foreign policy status quo and really led to a lot of discussions in washington and beyond about what we're trade policy international economic policy. Maybe not served the broader interests of the american public or had become de linked from rotter interest within the american middle classes. So that was kind of what spurred a whole set of activities really so it started in around twenty seventeen and actually get lots of credit to the people who got the project going. That was a med. Who is now director policy. Planning at state department. Jake sullivan National security adviser obviously in the end. Bill burns who was leading carnegie at the time and felt strongly about the project so there were a lot of people involved from the beginning. Who felt strongly that we needed to reexamine and the method was also a little different so the group decided that instead of doing kind of traditional foreign policy. Study where you look at your external actors you look at a threat environment on kind of assess national interest and then you kind of proceed from there. This took a much more kind of inside out. Approach did three state level in-depth studies ohio colorado in brassica went out and talk to you. People a wide swath of people from the state's partnered with local universities talk to economic developers middle-class focus groups businesses. Lots of different people. I'm kind of do these kinds of really deep dies and then from that knit together. A lot of things that we had heard In the three studies event try to think. About what those perspectives relate bring to the conversation eldest in this little section with kind of a quote from one of the first reports and it was the aim is not to sell ohio on any particular set of policies devised in washington rather to sell washington on the need to better understand the aspirations of middle class families and communities in ohio will let me ask you rods on that point why you took this approach because the report says quite explicitly that many americans including many americans who spoke to report. Don't have a really good understanding of foreign policy or which particular issue is affect them or their prosperity. So why go do people eskimo they think about foreign policy if have reason to believe and they admit they don't know how all these things together i think because there is a sense. Well first of all governments rely on and follow Ultimately the preferences of voters so when we saw the election of two thousand sixteen if you're populace feels straight disconnected from the foreign policy aims and goals at the foreign policy. Community is trying to articulate trying to advance but those are not well understood that you can create a lot of instability in your foreign policy establishment. So you can go from a global engaged administration. The obama administration to who in america first agenda and can happen with one election sitting.

Coming up next