In March, the U.S. announced its largest-ever commitment of funding to support foreign labor unions and the right to organize around the world. But while the initiative was framed as novel, the U.S. government has leaned on domestic labor unions as a means of achieving its national security goals since the late 1940s.
Last month, U.S. national security adviser Jake Sullivan gave a speech declaring that the neoliberal “Washington consensus” was officially dead. The Biden administration’s new policy approach is a bold departure from one that allowed far too many decisions to be determined solely by the market, but it has problems of its own.
With everything that happened last week, one could easily have missed what is nevertheless an ostensibly central pillar of President Joe Biden’s foreign policy: the second Summit for Democracy. Some critics say the summit risks becoming an “inconsequential talk shop.” In fact, it has already crossed that line.