Washington, D.C. — The United States should work with its European partners to help Italy rebuild its economy as it recovers from the coronavirus pandemic, according to a new issue brief from the Center for American Progress.
Supporting Italy’s recovery is a wise investment that can yield a more stable Europe and a safer Mediterranean, as well as demonstrate the good that the United States can accomplish, the brief says.
“A wise U.S. administration would engage with its European partners to help Italy regain its position as a growing, successful economy and a lynchpin of stability on the continent and in the Mediterranean,” said Simon Clark, a senior fellow at CAP and author of the brief. “This is a task that the administration can take on quickly with confidence that an early focus will pay off.”
The COVID-19 pandemic has been devastating for Italy, killing more than 34,000 people to date and closing down an economy already weakened by a quarter-century of austerity and a failure to adapt to the pressures of globalization. This is not just a national tragedy; it could become a geopolitical catastrophe. Italy’s position as a core European nation and a primary provider of security in the troubled Mediterranean could collapse under the strain.
The United States could make a real difference by taking the following actions:
- Helping the Italian government craft a credible plan to restructure its economy
- Working with its European partners to encourage public and private sector procurement, with a focus on Italy’s world-leading defense and pharmaceutical sectors
- Negotiating a growth-enhancing U.S.-EU trade deal and removing the tariffs imposed under the Trump administration
- Rebalancing global trade rules to encourage shared growth among democracies
- Encouraging equity investment in growing Italian businesses by U.S. and international investors
- Providing technical help to the Italian government for a program of growth-enhancing reforms of its legal system, commercial code, and protectionist practices
Read the issue brief: “Italy After COVID-19: Betrayal or Renewal?” by Simon Clark
For more information or to talk to an expert, please contact Sam Hananel at gro.ssergorpnacirema@lenanahs or 202-478-6327.