In America's Interest: A Leadership Agenda for Development Policy

December 18, 2003

By Sheila Herrling, Sarah Lucas and Sonal Shah

Today's world is more interdependent and interconnected than ever before. Globalization — the interaction and integration among people, companies and governments around the world — has offered, and will continue to offer, tremendous opportunities. But it also poses significant challenges, particularly to those who start from a position of disadvantage. Bold, forward-looking leadership is required to transcend those challenges and to realize that our self-interest is consistent with the interests of others around the world. America needs leadership that promotes our values, enhances our national and world security, and strengthens the global economic system. America needs leadership that focuses on the power of ideas, alliances and shared prosperity and not on the power of fear and anxiety. America needs a vision built on our nation's ability to ensure that the benefits of the global economy are shared equitably by all — from cattle ranchers in Wyoming, to cotton farmers in Mali; from textile producers in South Carolina to factory workers in Malaysia; and from small business owners in Arizona to teachers in Bolivia. A peaceful and prosperous 21st century demands an American strategy of global engagement that balances the delicate tensions between protecting national interests and cooperating in multilateral systems.

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