The effect of the government shutdown stretches beyond closed national parks and furloughed federal employees; it's damaging America's global economic influence, says Erik Brattberg, a visiting fellow at the School of Advanced International Studies.
In an op-ed for CNBC, Brattberg argues that canceled and delayed meetings with key foreign economic partners damage the United State's reputation and cause officials to miss out on key advocacy opportunities.
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The impact of the shutdown may also be felt during the upcoming IMF and World Bank meetings in Washington. Here, the U.S. government's ability to muster the resources necessary to effectively advocate American interests in countless meetings and bilateral with foreign colleagues is now called into question. (Case in point: Some 90 percent of the Treasury Department's employees are currently on furlough).
Of course, the White House should and must devote its full attention to quickly resolving the current stalemate on Capitol Hill. The point, however, is that it should never have had to in the first place. The current brinkmanship in Washington is threatening vital U.S. economic interests by both diverting Washington's attention from other, more crucial matters and by reducing partners' confidence in American leadership.