US-European relations in the age of America First

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Event Summary

On Friday, AEI and the Official Monetary and Financial Institutions Forum (OMFIF) hosted a discussion on US-European relations in the age of the Trump administration’s America First policy. David Marsh, managing director and cofounder of OMFIF, led the discussion. The panel examined how US-European trade and economic and political relations have changed under the Trump administration.

Daniel Ahn, the deputy chief economist at the US Department of State, discussed the balance between fair trade and free trade. Marek Belka, the former prime minister of Poland, argued that there is currently a crisis of globalization occurring in the US and Europe. AEI’s Stan Veuger discussed the impact of the shift away from a multilateral mind-set to an “America First” mind-set.

The panelists discussed the future of global free trade and the potential barriers to trade that could arise with the new administration. They concluded with a discussion on whether the US will embark on the next stage of multilateralism or oppose international institutions created by the US itself.

–Isabelle Staff

Event Description

Join the Official Monetary and Financial Institutions Forum and AEI as a panel of experts examines how US-European trade, economic, and political relations are evolving under the Trump administration. In particular, the panelists will discuss the realignment of global free trade and multilateral agreements, opportunities and challenges presented by Brexit, financial cooperation and regulation, and potential barriers to foreign direct investment and global capital flows.

Join the conversation on social media by following @AEI and @AEIecon on Twitter and Facebook.



10:00 AM
Registration and refreshments

10:20 AM
Welcome and introductory remarks:
David Marsh, Official Monetary and Financial Institutions Forum
Stan Veuger, AEI

10:30 AM
Panel discussion

Daniel Ahn, State Department
Marek Belka, former Prime Minister, Poland; former Governor, National Bank of Poland
Jonathan Faull, Brunswick Group
Fabrizio Saccomanni, former Minister of Economy and Finance, Italy
Stan Veuger, AEI

David Marsh, Official Monetary and Financial Institutions Forum

11:40 AM

12:00 PM

Event Contact Information

For more information, please contact Ryan Nabil at [email protected], 202.419.5204.

Media Contact Information

For media inquiries or to register a camera crew, please contact [email protected], 202.862.5829

Speaker Biographies

Daniel Ahn is the deputy chief economist at the US Department of State, where he focuses on global economic growth, financial stability, economic and financial sanctions, trade, and energy topics. He also represents the department at numerous bilateral and multilateral forums. He is a professorial lecturer at Johns Hopkins University’s Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies, where he teaches graduate courses on energy economics, finance, and the economics of conflict and national security. Before entering public service, Dr. Ahn was the chief economist for energy and commodities at Citigroup in New York, and he also held senior positions at Citadel, Barclays Capital, and Lehman Brothers. He has held research and teaching positions at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government, the National Bureau of Economic Research, Columbia University School of International and Public Affairs, the Council on Foreign Relations, Georgetown University, and the International Monetary Fund. He is the author of numerous academic research articles, testimony before US Congress, and a forthcoming textbook. He was featured in Forbes as one of 30 under 30 in finance and was selected by ICAEW Economia as one of its future stars. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. He completed his B.A. in economics and finance with honors from Princeton University and his Ph.D. in economics from Harvard University.

Marek Belka is acting president of the Narodowy Bank Polski. He received a master’s degree in economics from the University of Łódź in 1972, his Ph.D. in 1978, and his postdoctoral degree in economics in 1986. He was a research fellow at Columbia College Chicago, the University of Chicago, and the London School of Economics. He received the title of professor of economics in 1994. Dr. Belka has published more than 100 scientific papers devoted primarily to the theory of money and anti-inflation policy in developing countries. He served twice as deputy prime minister, minister of finance. From May 2004 to October 2005, he served as prime minister of Poland. In addition, he served as a consultant and adviser at the Polish Ministry of Finance and the Polish Ministry of Ownership Transformations and the Central Planning Office (1990–96), a consultant to the World Bank (1996), vice-chairman of the Council of Socio-Economic Strategy at the Council of Ministers (1994–96), economic adviser to the president of the Republic of Poland, chairman of the Council for International Coordination for Iraq, director of economic policy in the Coalition Provisional Authority (2003), executive secretary of the UN Economic Commission for Europe (2006–08), and chair of the World Bank/IMF Development Committee (2011–15). In November 2008, he assumed office as director of the European Department at the International Monetary Fund. On June 10, 2010, Dr. Belka was approved by the Parliament of the Republic of Poland as president of Narodowy Bank Polski. He is a member of the Steering Committee of the European Systemic Risk Board, chair of the Vienna 2.0 Initiative Steering Committee, and a member of the Central Bank Governance Group at the Bank for International Settlements in Basel.

Jonathan Faull is a partner and chair of European Public Affairs at Brunswick. He had a distinguished career at the European Commission, working at the highest level on a wide range of policies including competition, justice and home affairs, transport, and financial services. He became director for competition policy at the Directorate-General for Competition in 1995, deputy director-general in charge of state aid in 1999, and spokesman and director-general of press and communication in 1999. He was director-general of justice and home affairs (later justice, freedom, and security) from 2003 to 2010 and then director-general in charge of financial stability, financial services, and capital markets union between 2010 and 2015. Later he served as director-general of the Task Force for Strategic Issues Related to the UK Referendum. He studied law at the University of Sussex and has an M.A. from the College of Europe in Bruges. He has been a visiting lecturer at Sciences Po, a visiting fellow of the University of Cambridge Centre for European Legal Studies, a visiting professor at the College of Europe since 2009, and emeritus professor of law at the Free University of Brussels since 1989. He is a visiting professor at King’s College London and a member of the boards of the Jacques Delors Institute in Paris and the Centre for European Reform in London. Sir Faull was knighted in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list in 2017 for services to UK relations with the European Union.

David Marsh is managing director and cofounder of the Official Monetary and Financial Institutions Forum. He is senior adviser to the asset management company Soditic. Previously, he worked for Robert Fleming & Co., Hawkpoint, and Droege. Mr. Marsh is a board member of Henderson Eurotrust and the British Chamber of Commerce in Germany, and he is a visiting professor at Sheffield University and King’s College London. He is former cofounder, chairman, and deputy chairman of the German-British Forum. He was made commander of the British Empire in 2000 and was awarded the German Order of Merit (Bundesverdienstkreuz) in 2003. Between 1978 and 1995 he worked for the Financial Times in France and Germany, most recently as European editor in London. He started his career at Reuters in 1973, having graduated with a B.A. in chemistry from Queen’s College Oxford. Dr. Marsh has written five books: “Europe’s Deadlock: How the Crisis Could Be Solved—And Why It Won’t Happen” (Yale University Press, 2013); “The Euro: The Politics of the New Global Currency” (Yale University Press, 2009), rereleased in 2011 as “The Battle for the New Global Currency”; “Germany and Europe: The Crisis of Unity” (William Heinamann Ltd, 1994); “The Bundesbank: The Bank That Rules Europe” (Mandarin, 1992); and “The Germans: Rich, Bothered and Divided” (Century, 1989). He is a frequent media commentator in Europe and the US.

Fabrizio Saccomanni, distinguished visiting fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics, is vice president of the International Affairs Institute. He is also senior fellow of the School of European Political Economy at LUISS University and visiting professor in practice at the European Institute of the London School of Economics and Political Science. Mr. Saccomanni was appointed minister of economy and finance in the Italian government from April 2013 to February 2014. Before that, he was senior deputy governor (director general) of the Bank of Italy from October 2006 to April 2013. From February 2003 to October 2006 he was vice president for risk management at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development in London. Mr. Saccomanni joined the Bank of Italy in 1967 and was seconded to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in Washington from 1970 to 1975, as an economist in the exchange and trade department and subsequently in the office of the Italian executive director. Upon his return to the Bank of Italy, he served as head of the research department and in the foreign department from 1984 to 1997 and as managing director for international affairs from 1997 to 2003. He was a member of the G7 Study Group on Foreign Exchange Market Intervention (1984–85) and chairman of the Gold and Foreign Exchange Committee at the Bank for International Settlements (1988–91). Since then, he has been a member of the Italian delegation at meetings of the International Monetary and Financial Committee of the IMF, the Development Committee of the World Bank, and the G20, initially as one of the deputies and lately as minister of finance. Mr. Saccomanni holds an M.S. degree in economics and business from Bocconi University in Milan and did postgraduate studies in monetary and international economics at Princeton University. He is the author of “Managing International Financial Instability” (Edward Elgar Publishing, 2008). He is also coeditor of “The International Monetary System,” with Peter B. Kenen and Francesco Papadia (Cambridge University Press, 1994), and “An Ocean Apart? Comparing Transatlantic Responses to the Financial Crisis,” with Jean Pisany-Ferry and Adam S. Posen (Bruegel/Peterson Institute for International Economics, 2011).

Stan Veuger is a resident scholar at AEI, where his research is in political economy and public finance. He is also the editor of AEI Economic Perspectives. In the fall of 2016, he was a visiting lecturer of economics at Harvard University. Dr. Veuger’s research has been published in leading academic and professional journals, including the Journal of Monetary Economics, the Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, and the Quarterly Journal of Economics. He is the editor, with Michael Strain, of “Economic Freedom and Human Flourishing: Perspectives from Political Philosophy” (AEI Press, 2016). He also writes frequently for general audiences on economics, politics, and popular culture. His writing has appeared in Foreign Affairs, the Los Angeles Times, The National Interest, The New York Times, and USA Today, among others. Dr. Veuger serves as a board member of the Altius Society and as the chairman of the Washington, DC, chapter of the Netherland-America Foundation. He received a Ph.D. and an M.A. in economics from Harvard and an M.Sc. in economics from Universitat Pompeu Fabra. He completed his undergraduate education at Utrecht University and Erasmus University Rotterdam.

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