The Washington Consensus Is Over

May 27, 2022

Analyzing Biden’s landmark economic framework

The Roosevelt Rundown features our top stories of the week.

A Distinctly Post-Neoliberal Shift

The Indo-Pacific Economic Framework for Prosperity (IPEF), announced by the Biden administration this week, is not like international agreements of years past.

“For the past 40 years, international agreements have been governed by what is known as the Washington Consensus, in which international policymakers privileged trade openness and volume above all,” Roosevelt’s Steph Sterling writes.

IPEF, which will initially include 12 other countries, marks a distinctly post-neoliberal shift—an acknowledgment that markets alone can’t solve our collective problems.

The agreement builds on last year’s Cornwall Consensus, proposed by the G7 Economic Resilience Panel that Roosevelt President and CEO Felicia Wong served on last year.

And it will use “the power of international agreements to create shared, high-road labor standards; commitments on clean energy and decarbonization targets; systems to build more resilient global supply chains; and a shared approach to corporate tax and anti-corruption regimes,” Sterling explains.

Read more in “The Indo-Pacific Economic Framework for Prosperity (IPEF): Another Nail in the Coffin of the Washington Consensus.”


Power Struggle

“Electric utilities used to be ‘the most boring sector on Wall Street,’” Roosevelt’s Niko Lusiani tweeted this week.

“I was surprised to find just how much IOUs [investor-owned utilities] have chosen to pass on earnings to already-wealthy shareholders—at the cost of reinvesting in more resilient, affordable, just, and zero-carbon electricity.”

Learn more about Lusiani’s findings in his new issue brief, “Power Struggle: How Shareholder Primacy in the Electrical Utility Sector Is Holding Back an Affordable and Just Energy Transition.”

And stay tuned for more in the “All Economic Policy Is Climate Policy” series in the coming weeks.


Join the Conversation

From a distinctly American industrial policy to expansive fiscal policy, and from whole-of-government competition policy to worker-centered trade policy, the Biden administration is writing new rules for the 21st century economy.

Next Thursday, June 2, at 11 am, join Biden economic advisors and Roosevelt experts for a discussion of these new rules and the worldview that has shaped the Biden administration’s policy choices.

In conversation:

  • Bharat Ramamurti, Deputy Director, National Economic Council
  • Ben Harris, Assistant Secretary for Economic Policy, Department of the Treasury=
  • Felicia Wong, President and CEO, Roosevelt Institute
  • Mike Konczal (moderator), Director of Macroeconomic Analysis, Roosevelt Institute

Learn more and register now.


What We’re Reading and Listening To

In the US, Backlash to Civil Rights Era Made Guns a Political Third RailNew York Times

Amazon and Starbucks Aren’t Listening to Their WorkersBloomberg Law

New Paper Finds Monopolies Contribute to Inflation – Axios

How Jack Welch’s Reign at GE Gave Us Elon Musk’s Twitter FeedNew York Times

[Roosevelt’s] Lauren Melodia and Kristina Karlsson on Energy Inflation and How to Tame ItVolts [podcast]

Who Would Benefit the Most from Student Debt Relief? [feat. Roosevelt’s Felicia Wong] Marketplace