Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Ari interviews a Reaganite

Next week, thanks to Vibewire, I'm interviewing Clyde Prestowitz, who's in Australia to promote his new book, Three Billion New Capitalists.

From his biography, Clyde is a long time economic neo-conservative who has wielded plenty of influence inside the Washington beltway:

Clyde V. Prestowitz, Jr. - President

Clyde Prestowitz is founder and President of the Economic Strategy Institute, a Washington think-tank influential in the areas of international trade policy and specialized in how key sectors of the US and world economy adapt to change, in particular the effects of globalization.

Prior to founding ESI, Mr. Prestowitz served as counselor to the Secretary of Commerce in the Reagan Administration. There, he led many U.S. trade and investment negotiations with Japan, China, Latin America, and Europe. Before joining the Commerce Department, he was a senior businessman in the United States, Europe, Japan, and throughout Asia and Latin America. He has served as vice chairman of the President's Committee on Trade and Investment in the Pacific and sits on the board of the US Member Committee of PBEC.

Anyone have any suggested questions? Drop a note in the comments.

Clyde Prestowitz

Clyde Prestowitz. Thanks to Mother Jones for letting me shamelessly breach copyright.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

YOU COULD START BY ASKING HIM TO NAME THE THREE BILLION NEW CAPITALISTS? btw HAVE YOU SEEN THE BOOK? FISHY

John Lee said...

I wouldn't call Prestowitz a neocon. He belongs to an older generation of Republican statesmen (think Brent Scowcroft and Henry Kissinger) who've been quite critical of the current administration's foreign policy approach. One can point out that Cheney and Rumsfeld served in the Nixon and Bush Snr administrations, but they're the exceptions to the neocon rule.

Prestowitz is a conservative in the proper sense of the word. As evident in his book 'Rogue Nation' (2003) his foreign policy is traditional realist, without the idealism or ambition of the neocons. Hence also his emphasis on fiscal prudence, going back all the way to his 1988 book 'Trading Places', which argued that Japan was supplanting the US as the world's dominant economic power. The US economy's revival and Japan's slump during the 90's seemed to discredit Prestowitz's ideas, like Paul Kennedy's thesis about US 'imperial overstretch'. From a 2005 viewpoint however the long-term trends (as best we can make them out) suggest that both Prestowitz and Kennedy are essentially correct. It's an argument I took up in this year's first issue of AAP; US dominance depends in the last instance on peerless military capacity, which simply can't be sustained financially in the long run.

Jeremy said...

Maybe ask him what role he sees for governments in helping the labour market negotiate the short term pain which comes with opening up an economy to free(r) international trade. An interesting one I think.

Guy said...

Why are so few of the 3 billion capitalists in Africa and how can capitalism solve Africa's economic problems?