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Dissecting US Foreign Policy

FT: The US must get tough with China. NYT: Spain faces a crisis after adopting the euro. Korea Times: South Korea needs a plan for peace.

Trans-Pacific trade deal should expand investment opportunities

Eric Emerson, a Beijing-based partner with Steptoe & Johnson LLP, writes in the Wall Street Journal that a Trans-Pacific trade deal faces many technical as well as conceptual hurdles. He argues that these challenges will be hard to overcome unless pro-trade business leaders get more involved.

QUOTE: The better any TPP deal is on the economic merits—the more trade it encourages, and the more prosperity that trade creates—the more effective it will be in its strategic aims to tie the region together.

Spain faces a crisis after adopting the euro

Columnist Paul Krugman writes in the New York Times that Spain faces a possible debt crisis because of its adoption of the euro and therefore its inability to manipulate its currency. Spain now has no good options for fixing its economy.

QUOTE: Spain would be better off now if it had never adopted the euro — but trying to leave would create a huge banking crisis, as depositors raced to move their money elsewhere.

The US must get tough with China

Fred Bergsten, director of the Peterson Institute for International Economics, writes in the Financial Times that President Obama must take a harsher tone with China as global trade imbalances worsen. Obama must tell China that the United States will label it a currency manipulator and will take it to the World Trade Organization over trade violations.

QUOTE: The Chinese say they will never move under foreign pressure but have revealed they will do so only under such pressure.

WikiLeaks offers little insight into US foreign policy

Senior political writer Peter Beinart writes in the Daily Beast that despite the reaction it has caused, the new WikiLeaks document dump fails to provide much new insight into US foreign policy. He argues that the documents threaten to sabotage US foreign policy without offering much new information to the public debate.

QUOTE: The latest WikiLeaks dump is to American foreign policy what the Starr Report was to presidential politics—fun, in a voyeuristic sort of way, revealing, but not about important things, and ultimately, more trouble than it is worth.

Obama’s diplomatic strategy hurts American interests in Asia

Journalist and policy analyst Victor Kotsev writes in the Asia Times that President Obama’s administration has seen a steady tide of setbacks in Asia that threaten to undermine America’s influence in the region. Stronger American leadership is needed to reverse this trend.

QUOTE: The current patient and diplomatic strategy Obama is pursuing does not bode well for American interests in Asia.

South Korea needs a plan for peace

An editorial in the Korea Times argues that South Korean President Lee Myung-bak made his people even more anxious by being late to condemn North Korea over its attack last week. Lee has since given a strong statement showing that the South has lost its patience, but he still has not presented a grand strategy for peace.

QUOTE: Lee has yet to outline a grand blueprint on how to create a peaceful Korean Peninsula. He does not consider inter-Korean dialogue at least for the time being. He did not define whether the nation is either in a semi-war state or not.

The US must invest in a long-term growth strategy

Columnist Fareed Zakaria writes in the Washington Post that “common sense” is needed to help America’s economy recover. Long-term growth depends not on building more debt but on making the country more efficient and productive.

QUOTE: We can push and pull fiscal and monetary policy all we want, but long-term growth depends on these broader and deeper factors.

The European Union requires ‘regime change’

Columnist Wolfgang Munchau writes in the Financial Times that the eurozone’s financial problems have gotten to the point where politically agreeable solutions are not enough. The European Union needs drastic overhauls, but it is unlikely to be able to implement them.

QUOTE: What I am proposing is a regime change. It would require a new European treaty, no doubt. But it would end the crisis. And it would end all speculation about the longevity of the euro. Meanwhile, back on earth, let me assure you that my proposal stands no chance of success.

The US and its allies must be prepared to defend themselves

Stephen Peter Rosen, professor of national security and military affairs at Harvard, writes in the Wall Street Journal that the United States must stop acting like it has no foreign policy options. It should begin allowing its allies to acquire the weapons necessary to defend themselves, and it should build its own defense capabilities.

QUOTE: Our goal should be a world in which countries can live peacefully without fear of being coerced militarily. It is an old-school response that doesn't seek war, but that also doesn't aspire to utopian goals.

Will gold return?

Columnist Neil Reynolds writes in Toronto’s Globe and Mail that many economists “sneer” at the idea of having a gold standard. Reynolds argues that it may be time again to look at gold’s merits.

QUOTE: Gold didn’t fail the central banks, [economist Dr. Robert] Mundell says – central banks failed gold. They mismanaged it, going off gold, then going back on, then going off again – arbitrarily setting its price rather than permitting the markets to set it.