Read Jake Sullivan’s prepared remarks here.
Read some reactions to the speech here.
The past few years have shaken the world economy—COVID-19, the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the resulting sanctions, the global spike in prices of food, energy, and other things, the rise in interest rates around the world, a slowdown in economic growth, debt distress in several low- and middle-income countries, worries about the resurgence of protectionist trade policies, and, recently, headline-making problems at a few banks. There have also been significant policy initiatives from the U.S. in recent years—increased federal spending on infrastructure, the nation’s most significant legislation to fight climate change, billions of dollars to shore up America’s capacity to lead the world in semiconductors and other technologies, widespread public and private efforts to make supply chains more resilient, and—in the interests of national security—strict limits on providing China with certain advanced technologies.
All this raises some big questions: Are the assumptions that have underpinned international economics for the last several decades shifting? How will the U.S. compete with China on some things and cooperate with China on others? How will the rise of national security considerations affect the U.S.’s economic and trading relationships with other countries? Can the U.S. persuade its allies to join its effort to limit foreign high-tech investments in China? What does “friendshoring” mean in practice? How should multilateral organizations adapt to the new realities?
On Thursday, April 27 at the Hutchins Center on Fiscal and Monetary Policy at Brookings, President Biden’s National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan outlined the administration’s international economics agenda to date and the direction of this agenda going forward. Sullivan explained how the administration’s strategy has been shaped by—and is responsive to—the core challenges facing America today. He discussed how President Biden’s approach to industrial strategy is not just a domestic policy imperative but crucial to U.S. national security, and he outlined additional efforts that the administration is pursuing in its approach to international economic policymaking. Sullivan’s remarks came just three weeks before leaders of the Group of Seven nations meet in Hiroshima, Japan.
A Rhodes scholar and a graduate of Yale Law School, Sullivan has been, among other things, a clerk to Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer, a professor, director of policy planning in Hillary Clinton’s State Department and an advisor to her presidential campaign, and national security adviser to then-Vice President Joe Biden. Following his remarks, Sullivan was interviewed by David Wessel, director of the Hutchins Center, and took questions from the audience. Viewers submitted questions by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org, on Twitter using the hashtag #JakeSullivan, and at sli.do using the code #JakeSullivan.
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