Isobel Coleman

Democracy in Development

Coleman maps the intersections between political reform, economic growth, and U.S. policy in the developing world.

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Thoughts on the State of the Union Address

by Isobel Coleman
February 13, 2013

U.S. President Barack Obama delivers his State of the Union speech on Capitol Hill in Washington on February 12, 2013 (Kevin Lamarque/Courtesy Reuters). U.S. President Barack Obama delivers his State of the Union speech on Capitol Hill in Washington on February 12, 2013 (Kevin Lamarque/Courtesy Reuters).

Last night’s State of the Union address by President Obama was predictably light on foreign policy. His focus is appropriately on reinvigorating the economy and tackling a myriad of domestic challenges. Nevertheless, the world remains a dangerous place, yet Obama offered few new insights on dealing with emerging crises in the Middle East and Asia. His most ambitious foreign policy announcement was the pursuit of a free trade agreement with Europe. As I write today on CNN.com:

[Obama] is right to note that free trade “supports millions of good-paying American jobs,” but his pledge to pursue a “comprehensive Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership”–a free trade agreement with Europe–will run into significant opposition from organized labor, especially given ongoing weaknesses in the economy.

You can read my take on the State of the Union here.

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