Originally posted by me elsewhere on 11/12/2010
Remember Obama’s apology tour? His insistence that we’re no more exceptional than any other country? His faulting the U.S. for not “celebrating [the E.U.’s] dynamic union” because of our “arrogance”? For reasons that I can’t fathom, Obama seemed to believe that all this presidential groveling would cause other countries to hold us in higher esteem. It was a policy of strategic self-debasement that was supposed to pay off in big diplomatic dividends for the U.S. Well how’s that working out? Let’s take a look at the president’s successes at the G-20 summit… oh, wait. There weren’t any.
Obama’s principle goals while in Asia were to secure a trade deal with South Korea, and to convince the attendees at G20 to do something about China’s undervalued currency. Instead the U.S. ended up securing a “Free Trade Disagreement” with South Korea, whose leaders don’t want to import more American cars and beef. And he couldn’t even get other participating nations at the G20 summit to adopt his wording denouncing the “competitive undervaluation” of currencies. For some reason, the German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble found Obama’s stance on this issue to be… well, a bit hypocritical, saying before the summit:
It doesn’t add up when the Americans accuse the Chinese of currency manipulation and then, with the help of their central bank’s printing presses, artificially lower the value of the dollar.
As to Germany’s charge of hypocrisy, Obama has countered that the Fed’s quantitative easing “was not designed to have an impact on the currency, the dollar. It was designed to grow the economy.” To which Wolfgang Schäuble’s opined:
I don’t think they are going to solve their problems that way. They have already pumped an endless amount of money into the economy via taking on extremely high public debt and through a Fed policy that has already pumped a lot of money into the economy. The results are horrendous.
The president has also been complaining that we import much more from Germany than we export to Germany, and he wishes that Germany would do something about this trade imbalance. The German Finance Minister says it makes no sense to talk about Germany’s individual trade balance with the United States. Due to Germany’s integration into the EU and its lack of an individual currency, it only makes sense to talk about the trade balance between the U.S. and the EU as a whole and that trade balance is about even.
I may be mistaken, but it seems to me that the German Finance Minister believes that Obama is not sufficiently “celebrating [the E.U.’s] dynamic union.”
However even though it seems like the president has not had any success in advancing the United State’s economic interests, he counters that he has managed to develop “genuine friendships” with world leaders, so at least we’ve got that going for us.
- Setbacks aside, Obama claims stronger global hand published by the AP
- S. Korea, U.S. fail to reach deal on bilateral FTA published by the Yonhap News Agency
- Barack Obama: ‘arrogant US has been dismissive’ to allies published by the Telegrah
- The bashing of American exceptionalism must stop, a Jonah Goldberg opinion piece
- Obama’s Supine Diplomacy, a Charles Krauthammer opinion piece
- Obama Enters G20 Currency Fray: Germany blasts US currency policy ahead of summit published by the Newser
- ‘The US Has Lived on Borrowed Money for Too Long’ published by Spiegel Online
- Results of Fed Stimulus Could Be ‘Horrendous’ published by Spiegel Online