U.S. Financial Power, Europe and China


On April 25, the Center held a discussion on U.S. Financial Power, Europe and China.

The central role of the US financial system in the world economy and the dollar’s status as a global currency are key pillars of American power and international economic stability.  In recent years, Washington has increasingly sought to leverage this financial prowess in pursuit of particular foreign policy objectives.

The US use of sanctions, combined with significant foreign policy differences with other major powers, have spurred foreign governments to seek to develop work-arounds to the US financial system. Measures such as China’s RMB internationalization efforts and the European Union Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) for trade with Iran have had minimal tangible impact thus far.  But could they pose a serious challenge to US financial predominance over the longer term if left unchecked? 

To discuss these issues, the Center hosted two leading analysts with deep expertise in these areas:

Elizabeth Rosenberg is a Senior Fellow and Director of the Energy, Economics, and Security Program at the Center for a New American Security. From May 2009 through September 2013, she served as a Senior Advisor at the U.S. Department of the Treasury, to the Assistant Secretary for Terrorist Financing and Financial Crimes, and then to the Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence.

David Dollar is a senior fellow in the John L. Thornton China Center at the Brookings Institution. From 2009 to 2013, Dollar was the U.S. Treasury’s economic and financial emissary to China, based in Beijing, facilitating the macroeconomic and financial policy dialogue between the United States and China. Prior to joining Treasury, Dollar worked 20 years for the World Bank, serving as country director for China and Mongolia, based in Beijing (2004-2009).

Jacob Heilbrunn, editor of The National Interest, moderated.