U.S. Foreign Policy for the Middle Class: Perspectives From Ohio

All U.S. administrations aim for foreign policies that protect and enhance Americans’ safety, prosperity, and way of life. However, there is disagreement within and across political party lines on whether the U.S. role abroad is adequately advancing the economic well-being of America’s middle class.

In an effort to address this division, The Carnegie Endowment for International Peace partnered with researchers at the John Glenn College of Public Affairs to conduct a study to determine whether significant changes to U.S. foreign policy are needed here at home. Ohio was chosen for the inaugural study because of its economic and political diversity and its well-known status as a bellwether state.

Glenn College faculty expertise helped inform and prepare the report. “The Geonomics and Strategy Program at the Carnegie Endowment of International Peace could not have produced this report without the involvement of Trevor Brown and the Glenn College faculty members who helped steer the task force,” said Salman Ahmed, senior fellow, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. “Their contributions provided the direction and shape to these preliminary findings.”

Glenn College faculty members Professor Ned Hill and Distinguished Adjunct Professor William Shkurti offered the study insight on the Ohio economy and policy challenges, particularly related to the loss of manufacturing jobs and the economic implications of steel tariffs and their effects on areas like Northeast Ohio. “More than a third of the 750,000 well-paid manufacturing jobs that Ohio lost between 1969 and 2009 were lost because of trade,” said Shkurti.

Fran Stewart, senior research fellow at the Ohio Manufacturing Institute at The Ohio State University, led the preliminary focus group interviews. Interviewees included key members of Governor John Kasich’s administration, the leadership at JobsOhio, key leaders in regional economic development organizations in Cleveland, Columbus, Dayton, Lima and Marion. The exercise also included speaking with a bipartisan group of senior policymakers.

The report also highlighted that even though Ohio’s unemployment rate has fallen, prosperity is uneven as smaller cities and towns struggle after major employers depart. In addition, many of the well-paying jobs that are available require education and skills the unemployed do not have.

The report expands on trade-related job losses, opposition to the Trans-Pacific Partnership Pact, the effects of automation and artificial intelligence and national labor market interventions.

Download the Report

Click here to go to the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace website.

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