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Failure to Adjust: How Americans Got Left Behind in the Global Economy

May 9, 2017 @ 5:30 PM - 7:00 PM

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Join the World Affairs Council in welcoming Edward Alden, Bernard L. Schwartz Senior Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, for a discussion on his new book Failure to Adjust: How Americans Got Left Behind in the Global Economy.


About the book:

Americans know that something has gone wrong in this country’s effort to prosper in the face of growing global economic competition. The vast benefits promised by the supporters of globalization, and by their own government, have never materialized for most Americans. This book is the story of what went wrong, and how to correct the course. It is a compelling history of the last four decades of US economic and trade policies that have left Americans unable to adapt to or compete in the current global marketplace. Failure to Adjust argues that, despite the deep partisan divisions over how best to respond to America’s competitive challenges, there is achievable common ground on such issues as fostering innovation, overhauling tax rules to encourage investment in the United States, boosting graduation rates, investing in infrastructure, and streamlining regulations. The federal government needs to become more like U.S. state governments in embracing economic competitiveness as a central function of government. The book presents an especially timely analysis of the trade policies of the Obama administration, and discusses how America can reassert itself as the leader in setting rules for international economic competition that would spread the benefits of global trade and investment more broadly.


About the speaker:

Alden_1Edward Alden is the Bernard L. Schwartz senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, specializing in U.S. economic competitiveness. He is the author of the new book Failure to Adjust: How Americans Got Left Behind in the Global Economy. In addition, Alden is the director of the CFR Renewing America publication series and coauthor of a recent CFR Discussion Paper “A Winning Trade Policy for the United States.”

Alden was the project codirector of the 2011 CFR-sponsored Independent Task Force Report U.S. Trade and Investment Policy, which was co-chaired by former White House chief of staff Andrew Card and former Senate majority leader Thomas Daschle. Alden was the project director of the 2009 CFR-sponsored Independent Task Force Report U.S. Immigration Policy.

Alden was previously the Washington bureau chief for the Financial Times and prior to that was the newspaper’s Canada bureau chief, based in Toronto. He worked as a reporter at the Vancouver Sun and was the managing editor of the newsletter Inside U.S. Trade, widely recognized as a leading source of reporting on U.S. trade policies. Alden has won several national and international awards for his reporting. He has done numerous TV and radio appearances as an analyst on political and economic issues, including on BBC, CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, NPR, and PBS NewsHour. His work has been published in Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, Fortune, Los Angeles Times, New York Times, Toronto Globe and Mail, Wall Street Journal, and Washington Post.

Alden has a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of British Columbia. He earned a master’s degree in international relations from the University of California, Berkeley, and pursued doctoral studies before returning to a journalism career. Alden is the winner of numerous academic awards, including a Mellon fellowship in the humanities and a MacArthur Foundation graduate fellowship.


About the moderator:

Lori3-e1487892219145As President of the Washington Council on International Trade (WCIT), Lori Otto Punke leads advocacy efforts to increase Washington’s international competitiveness and oversees the management and growth of WCIT. She is also the founder and principal of LOP Strategies, where she helps clients ranging from Fortune 500 companies to small businesses and associations on public affairs, policy and communication. Lori previously held a variety of senior public affairs positions at Starbucks Coffee Company and Microsoft Corporation, and has served as a senior policy advisor to U.S. Senate leadership. She has a proven track record in advocacy and expertise in trade, technology, intellectual property rights protections, and transportation policy. Lori earned her her B.A. from George Washington University and studied international relations and political science in London and Madrid.

This program is a part of the “Understanding the Global Economy” series sponsored by the Foster Global Business Center:






Boeing is an underwriting sponsor for all World Affairs Council Community Programs:






May 9, 2017
5:30 PM - 7:00 PM
Event Category:


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