Travel Diary: Secretary Clinton in Indonesia

Posted by DipNote Bloggers
November 19, 2011
Secretary Clinton Attends the U.S.-ASEAN Meeting in Nusa Dua

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Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton accompanied President Barack Obama to Bali, Indonesia, to attend the East Asia Summit and the U.S.-ASEAN Leaders Meeting. While in Bali, Secretary Clinton delivered remarks to the ASEAN Business and Investment Summit on November 18. Secretary Clinton said:

"...Now we, I think, each recognize that economic policy is foreign policy, and foreign policy is economic policy. And by strengthening the diplomacy and presence abroad, we can strengthen our economies back home, and actually, vice versa. And the United States recognizes that, so we are making a pivot, a pivot toward the Asia Pacific region, where we intend to be a diplomatic, economic, and strategic force for the 21st century.

"And it is especially important that we work toward the integration of the Asia-Pacific region, because the potential here matters more than ever, first and foremost to the people who live here, but indeed to those living across the globe. This region has the world's fastest rising economies, with GDP growth at an average of better than 6.5 percent a year despite the global slowdown. And with natural resources, untapped markets, a massive consumer base, and unlimited human potential, we expect that to continue to grow.

"But we still have more work to do between the United States and ASEAN countries. Trade between the United States and Southeast Asia has tripled over the past 20 years, but it is still just 6 percent of our global trade. And even though American investments in ASEAN countries more than doubled last year, we know we can do better.

"How do we grow together to maximize broad, inclusive, sustainable growth that provides real benefits for all of our people? Well, we have to start by insisting on economic competition that is open, free, transparent, and fair. That means taking on rules that prevent foreign investors from competing with local businesses to produce better goods and services. It means lowering trade barriers that stop the flow of ideas, information, products, and capital across borders. It means letting outside investors compete under the same rules as the inside players. And it makes it absolutely imperative that everyone knows what the rules are. When any of these principles are ignored, when people no longer believe they can trade, invest, create jobs, or improve their lives on an even playing field, then the absence of fairness undermines economic growth."

In closing, she said, "...It is time for those of us in positions of responsibility, in both the public and the private sector, to realize that it's not only smart economics to create broad-based prosperity that includes everyone, men and women, big companies, medium-sized and small, older and younger, everyone -- break down the barriers, open the doors, and watch what happens. And I don't think any region in the world will be more benefited than right here in the countries that comprise ASEAN."

You can read Secretary Clinton's complete remarks here.



United States
November 19, 2011

Zharkov in the U.S.A. writes:

Yes, Mrs. Clinton is quite correct - it is vice versa.

A strong economy produces strong diplomacy and not the other way around. A growing industrial base creates growing economic power which supports growing diplomatic muscle.

China's economic miracle has given its government real diplomatic and military power over the region, while our formerly strong diplomacy has declined along with our industrial base.

Our country has been punished from overregulation, overtaxation, and overbureaucratization, to the point that the world's entrepreneurs find the US business climate so repulsive that they relocate anywhere but America.

Avoiding America is today the prime goal of foreign banks, industrialists, even Hollywood, which now makes most films offshore.

How other nations could ever respect diplomats from a country that is intentionally committing economic suicide is a mystery.

All it takes to turn America around to be as prosperous as China is a willing president and one session of Congress to cut regulations, change the tax system, and make America competitive with China. America was once the world's tax haven. Where are the CFR's White Papers about that?

America long ago attracted millions of highly-skilled immigrants who raised the standard of living to the world's best. Today, America attracts drug cartels, criminal gangs, serial killers, criminals and illiterates, while state and federal governments are busy punishing our industrial sector, forcing it to move jobs out of the country. America is a mess, slipping away into chaos, corruption, and poverty.

We can't even produce our own computer chips for the military so we buy Chinese chips with built-in backdoors for hacking. Our automobiles are assembled in Canada and Mexico, not Detroit. Our last light bulb factory just closed because of some stupid law imposed by Congress and signed by the president-alleged.

You've got federal agents raiding one of the last guitar makers in America to enforce a foreign law that even that country doesn't care about. Then we see our own government officials illegally shipping truckloads of guns to drug cartels in Mexico, and nobody in government is prosecuted.

Diplomatic power while the country is imploding?

I don't think so.

Western diplomacy has never been weaker than at this moment.

New Mexico, USA
November 20, 2011

Eric in New Mexico writes:

@ State dept & Dipnote bloggers,

US diplomacy must be doing a pretty effective job in the world if Zharkov is complaining so much about it and trying to negate its impact.

Unlike the "canary in the coal mine", when he sings, you know you must be doing something right and implementing US foreign policy effectively across the globe.

(just a pattern I've noted in the timing and subject matter of his posts over the years)

Oh and FYI, Hollywood loves to make films in New Mexico (it's not another country), that's why my state invested millions in infrastructure and tax incentives to make it easier for producers to come here to make them.



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