IN THIS SUMMARY
The increasingly global economy leaves governments with little room for unilateral action, and little choice but to pursue accommodation and cooperation. U.S. policy is still adapting to this new world, and policymakers have not yet come to grips with the evolving economic realities, in part because of a lack of consensus about what goals and strategies to pursue. Few governments share the United States' ostensible commitment to open markets, and existing international institutions are inadequate. America is increasingly resorting to bilateral and multilateral agreements, but these are often ineffective. A more coherent and consistent policy must be developed if the United States is to function effectively in the arena of foreign economic policy. The United States cannot hope to fruitfully address its present economic difficulties without developing more extensive cooperative arrangements with other countries. The U.S. system of checks and balances was designed with a much smaller, less interventionist government in mind. Structures have emerged to carry out new economic responsibilities only gradually and haphazardly. Many U.S. initiatives are launched without any real consensus behind them, and all must survive, an obstacle course littered with bureaucratic impediments and competing interests. In contrast, our trading partners and competitors tend to have much more stable policies, and governments that play a more central role in guiding their economies.