Free and transparent markets governed by enforceable rules are essential to global shared prosperity. Actively engaging in economic policy can facilitate solutions to political crises. These are key elements in the Secretary’s approach to economic diplomacy.
When I returned from serving as our Ambassador to Italy, Secretary Kerry charged me with exploring all the ways in which our foreign policy and the functioning of the State Department could be enhanced through economics. The Secretary spoke about the central role of economic issues in our practice of foreign policy on a number of occasions in 2014. Take a look back at some of the highlights:
“Economic policy and foreign policy are absolutely interchangeable, completely interconnected. They are two sides of the same coin, and that is not stated often enough and is certainly not put into practice often enough.” – Secretary Kerry at the Middle East Commercial Center, December 8, 2014
“In the 21st century, a nation’s interests are advanced not just by troops and diplomats, but by entrepreneurs and executives. And that’s because innovation, investment, and trade are absolutely the fundamental engines of strong economies. Wisely channeled, they lead to shared prosperity, to sustainable growth, and more and better jobs both domestically and overseas.” – Secretary Kerry at the Middle East Commercial Center, December 8, 2014
“President Obama has set the tone by saying again and again that the way to grow our economies is to grow our exports. And that’s exactly what’s happening. Since the President took office, U.S. exports have increased more than 50 percent, and the two-way trade between the United States and other APEC countries, economies has grown by nearly the same amount during that period of time.” – Secretary Kerry at APEC, November 8, 2014
— John Kerry (@JohnKerry) November 8, 2014
“The TPP is a state-of-the-art, 21st century trade agreement that will connect more than 40 percent of the global GDP and one-third of global trade, and it raises the standards. It brings everybody up, not a race to the bottom. It’s consistent with our shared economic interests and our shared strategic interests, and it’s rooted in our shared values.” – Secretary Kerry to the U.S.-ASEAN Business Council, October 2, 2014
“So with so much focus on the challenges that are confronting us today, from ISIL to Ebola to Ukraine to Iran to Syria, and you can run the list, Afghanistan, it can be easy to miss the fact that there are also unprecedented opportunities staring us in the face at this moment, particularly when it comes to business and economic growth.” – Secretary Kerry to the U.S.-ASEAN Business Council, October 2, 2014
“We need to do more at the State Department to make sure that the U.S. Government and the U.S. business community are working with one another, not against one another. I tell every Foreign Service officer that they are, each and every one of them, an economic officer, no kidding. That’s how we have to think. And we need to show the world that the State Department means business, literally.” – Secretary Kerry to the U.S.-ASEAN Business Council, October 2, 2014
“The fact is that American businesses are some of the best ambassadors our country has.” – Secretary Kerry to the U.S.-ASEAN Business Council, October 2, 2014
“If we make the correct choices in the months and years to come, U.S. trade and investment has the potential to create shared prosperity up and down the food chain: growth that’s sustainable and environmentally friendly, wealth that lifts up communities and creates opportunity, and enormous amounts of jobs for the United States and for all of our partner nations.” – Secretary Kerry to the U.S.-ASEAN Business Council, October 2, 2014
“As a nation, we have to do a better job of expanding economic opportunity so it reaches across the globe. Shared prosperity – that’s a big vision that I want to grow into a big reality.” – Secretary Kerry at Swearing-in Ceremony for Assistant Secretary for Economic and Business Affairs Charles Rivkin, April 15, 2014
About the Author: Ambassador David Thorne serves as Senior Advisor to the Secretary of State.