Obama's Agenda: 10 Challenges for the New President
Brookings Institution | November 2008
Great challenges await the 44th US president, especially economic ones. The Brookings Institution lists the ten most important:
- Restoring Financial Stability: Strengthening the global financial system is a priority alongside the task of defeating the current financial market crisis. Such a strengthening includes increased national regulation and decreased dependence on foreign credit. Furthermore, the new president of the US should set up a new agenda for the international community through which global rules of transparency in capital flows, also affecting new actors like sovereign wealth funds, could be put into action.
- Develop a Green Agenda: CO2-emissions must be reduced at the national level as well as within a framework of international agreements. Only through developing technological support and providing financial resources can the risks of quickly increasing greenhouse gases be alleviated.
- Exercising Smart Power: Investments for education and health as well as supporting the global poor does not only make Americans feel good about themselves, it also improves the view others have of the US.
- Strengthen Global Trade: If the US is to continue profiting from globalization, Americans must fight against trade barriers and invest in their own competitiveness. At the same time effective security for the unemployed, sick, and elderly must be created.
- Navigating China's Rise: The US must engage bilaterally, regionally, and multilaterally in order to include China in the international system. Whether on climate change, WTO-accession or currency imbalances, cooperative mechanisms must be built to better reach our goals.
- Include Russia: It is in the best interest of the US that Russia aligns itself along international norms and cooperates more reliably in the areas of energy, financial integration, and security.
- Engaging an Emerging India: The integration of the largest democracy, India, into the global economy is an important target. Washington can support India with the challenges that must be overcome and simultaneously benefit from current bilateral arrangements.
- Forging New Ties to Latin America: The Latin American roots of a vast portion of the US population alone demand a new quality in relations to the states of the Western Hemisphere. The US must be a stronger and more reliable partner for its neighbors.
- Support African Growth: Thanks to new political conditions and a global demand for resources, many African states showed strong growth in the past decade. With the US as a strong partner this growth can be sustainably supported by setting global standards for resource management, opening markets to African products, and strengthening regional security.
- Developing an Agenda for the Middle East: The predominantly young population of the Middle East strives towards global integration. The governments of the region face demands to provide them with education and economic opportunities. Through partnerships based on mutual trust and respect, the US can better advance the desired economic and political reforms in the region.
This summary was produced by the Atlantic Community editorial team from this article by the Brookings Institution.
Related materials from the Atlantic Community:
- CSIS Recommendations for a Smarter, More Secure America
- Luke A. Nichter: Bretton Woods Revisited, Again
- Jens F. Laurson & George A. Pieler: Too Much Political Meddling Will Only Prolong the Financial Crisis