Peter Rashish

As Germany assumes the Presidency of the G20 largest world economies, a new U.S. president takes office, and uncertainties surround the future of the global economic order, the American Institute for Contemporary German Studies at Johns Hopkins University is launching a new Geoeconomics Project in 2017.

Peter S. Rashish, who counts over 25 years of experience counseling corporations, think tanks, foundations, and international organizations on transatlantic trade and economic strategy, will join AICGS as Senior Fellow and Project Director. Peter is a former Vice President for Europe and Eurasia at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce who has advised two U.S. presidential campaigns and currently serves as senior advisor to Transnational Strategy Group LLC in Washington and the European Policy Centre in Brussels.

Why geoeconomics and why now? The United States and Germany have long drawn on economic tools to advance their broader national interests. The two countries have a strong record of cooperation in this sphere in recent years, having worked together with other states on the sanctions employed to reach a solution to Iran’s nuclear ambitions, and on the current restrictions placed on Russia following its occupation of Crimea.

But geoeconomics is not only about hard security policy. The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) launched by the U.S. and the European Union in 2013 is a notable example of like-minded economic powers leveraging trade policy to update the international economic system so that it continues to reflect and strengthen their joint interests and principles.

While the prosperity and security of the United States, Germany, and the European Union depend upon the effective functioning of high-standard global economic rules, this fact is not well understood by publics on either side of the Atlantic. The popular opposition from both the right and the left to TTIP, the Trans-Pacific Partnership, and the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement between the EU and Canada—all intended to strengthen these rules—is evidence of the political communication challenges that confront a geoeconomic strategy.

With a view to the July 7-8 G20 Summit in Hamburg, the new Geoeconomics Project at AICGS will inform debate in governments, the media, the private sector, the policy community, and NGOs through original ideas and content that highlight what is at stake for the United States and Germany in their future international economic engagement.

Support for this project is provided by the Steven Muller New Initiatives Fund.