Deputy Secretary of State Thomas Nides authored an opinion piece that appears on Politico.com. The text of his piece also follows below:"Today's headlines are filled with conflict -- from uprisings in Syria to last week's bomb blasts in New Delhi and Bangkok. So it's only natural that, when most people think of diplomacy, they think of negotiations on matters of war and peace. But that's only half the story. Our diplomats and development experts are out there protecting America's national security, including our economic strength -- a dual mandate of peace and prosperity.
"Here's why we, as diplomats, care about economics: We live in an era when the size of a country's economy is every bit as important to exercising global leadership as the size of its military. Meanwhile, our investment in development prevents conflict and cultivates future allies and consumers of American goods. We're working at the highest levels with our partners in Europe and Asia to stabilize and balance the global economy. And closer to home, the American people are hungry for an economic recovery that depends on reaching beyond our borders to find new customers and new markets. That means the State Department -- which manages our relationships around the world -- is essential to exercising our economic influence, keeping Americans prosperous, and creating jobs here at home.
"This week, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will host the first-ever State Department Global Business Conference in Washington, D.C. Participants range from leaders of organizations promoting U.S. businesses in more than 120 countries to senior executives of major American businesses to senior U.S. government representatives, including Vice President Biden. We have designed this international gathering to generate exciting ideas on how the United States government can better help businesses find new export markets, accelerate America's economic renewal, and -- most importantly -- put the American people back to work.
"As a former businessman, I know that building sustainable global growth and creating jobs at home is a joint venture: the private sector innovates and allocates capital, and the government opens doors to new markets and ensures that the rules are fair. Given the economic hardship Americans are suffering today, we must bring this partnership between business and government to the next level. On the government side, we must use all the tools at our disposal -- including diplomacy and development -- to support our businesses and grow the economy. That's what this conference is all about.
"The truth is that we've always done a great deal to support American businesses abroad. For decades, our diplomats, trade negotiators, agricultural experts, and commercial service officers have worked hard to make sure that American companies get a fair shake wherever they operate. We have helped establish the rules and institutions to safeguard healthy economic competition and spur unprecedented global growth. We've advocated on behalf of U.S. manufacturers exporting to Indonesia, Brazil, and Germany. We've pressed for economic reforms to spark growth in places like Pakistan and Tanzania because aid -- no matter how effective -- can only do so much. We've negotiated complex trade and investment agreements with Korea, Colombia, and Panama. At every turn, we have sought to ask and answer a simple question: how can we use diplomacy to create American jobs?
"We've done a great deal. But we can and must do even more. At the State Department, we're building on the Secretary's vision of Economic Statecraft -- that is, harnessing economic forces to advance our foreign policy and employing the tools of foreign policy to shore up our economic strength. We're using our network of over 200 embassies and consulates to connect businesses to opportunities and to tear down obstacles to fair competition. We're making it easier for foreign companies to learn about investing in America and changing the way we recruit, train, and develop our people. We're encouraging reform in the markets of the Middle East, boosting private investment to stabilize Iraq and Afghanistan, and stepping up our efforts in the Asia-Pacific region. We're all doing our part to support the President's full-court press to strengthen our economy for the long haul.
"All of this furthers our mission to protect America, while helping others prosper and promote growth around the world. In fact, the conditions of open, free, transparent and fair competition that allow American companies to thrive will help others to compete and grow as well.
"In the end, America's economic renewal depends on the strength of the global economy -- and the global economy depends on the strength of the American economy. We live in a world with global companies and global consumers. The tastes of consumers in Tokyo drive production decisions in Detroit. Stock prices in Frankfurt affect growth forecasts in Sydney and living standards in Lima.
"In this increasingly interconnected and dynamic world, we must work together -- whether businesspeople or diplomats, Americans or our international friends -- to advance our shared prosperity. We must continue to build the rules, institutions, and relationships necessary to systematically advance the economic interests of our citizens and businesses well into the future.
"America's economic strength and our global leadership are a package deal."Related Content: Following the Secretary's Global Business Conference -- A Guide to Our Message and Social Media