Consider the Eurozone in the campaign


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When it comes to foreign policy this presidential election, every continent seems to be important, except the debt crisis in Europe. As that crisis looms in Europe, however, the continent cannot continue to be ignored either by the candidates or the U.S. electorate.

The Middle East, the Persian Gulf, and South-Central Asia dominate the campaign trail. President Obama cites his administration’s success in pulling troops out of Iraq, implementing a plan to withdraw troops from Afghanistan, attacking Qaeda terrorist camps, and, most notably, killing Osama bin Laden.

The Romney campaign’s foreign-policy plan lacks emphasis on the Eurozone, and Obama’s platform mentions Europe only to cite his commitment to “addressing global challenges” with our allies there.  
Moreover, an “unraveling of the commitment to the Eurozone would have serious repercussions in the U.S.,” according to the Council on Foreign Affairs. The cost of borrowing would go up, stock prices would fall, and U.S. exports would suffer. If Europe dips into another major recession, as a study released by the International Monetary Fund shows, the United States would follow, regardless of the Federal Reserve’s response.

Wise policy measures are imperative, therefore, and Obama and Romney’s positions on the Eurozone must be rescued from their relative obscurity and evaluated as a result.

As a conservative, Romney believes in the need to cut federal spending and shrink the federal deficit. Citing the $3.5 trillion the federal government spent in 2010, Romney emphasizes the need to curb Washington’s “out-of-control” spending habits before they spiral any further.

Romney has drawn a hard-line parallel with this anti-spending policy in America on European debt as well.

“Europe is able to take care of its own problems,” said the candidate during a Republican debate last fall. “We don’t want to step in and try to bail out their banks and bail out their governments. They have the capacity to deal with that themselves.”

In line with his domestic policy, Obama calls for less austerity and more action by the governments in the Eurozone. Calling on European governments to promote job creation, stabilize the financial system, and develop a “deeper collaboration” on budgeting, Obama said in June, “The decisions required are tough, but Europe has the capacity to make them. And they have America’s support.”

The global economy is extremely fragile, even though certain improvements have been made, according to the April edition of the World Economic Outlook. The study linked the U.S. improvement with both domestic policies and policies in the euro area. These improvements can easily be toppled, and policymakers must work together in order to prevent a near future downfall of the global market economy.  

Considering the interconnectedness of the global economy, neither candidate should ignore the looming crisis in Europe when on the campaign trail.

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