US leaders must recognize that others do not view America’s global ambitions through the same rose-tinted glasses as they do
When I started teaching at Harvard’s Kennedy School in the mid-1980s, competition with Japan was the dominant preoccupation of US economic policy. I remember being struck back then by the degree to which the discussion, even among academics, was tinged by a certain sense of American entitlement to global pre-eminence. The US could not let Japan dominate key industries and had to respond with its own industrial and trade policies. Not just because these might help the US economy, but also because the US simply could not be No. 2.