Mitt Romney on U.S. Global Leadership Post-Pandemic

Senator Mitt Romney shares insights on how the United States can step up its role as a world leader and position itself for success in the post-pandemic world.


Air Date: May 19, 2021

Moderator: Neil Bradley, Executive VP and Chief Policy Officer, U.S. Chamber of Commerce

Featured Guests: Mitt Romney, Senator, U.S. Senate

As former governor of Massachusetts, 2012 Republican Presidential candidate, and current Utah senator, Mitt Romney has been deeply immersed in the American political sphere for decades. He understands the challenges America has faced both domestically and internationally but believes that with the right focus, infrastructure updates, and global alliances, the United States can step up more as a world leader.

At the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Global Forum on Economic Recovery, Senator Romney shared his views on public-private partnerships, the growing challenge the U.S. faces on an international stage with China, and confronting the challenges of cybersecurity.

Romney Believes COVID-19 Offers the U.S. an Opportunity to Re-Seize a World Leadership Role

When it comes to re-establishing itself as a top leader in the world, the U.S. has an opportunity as it helps other countries fight COVID-19.

“I think it's fair to say that post-pandemic, we have a bit of an opportunity,” said Romney. “We've been on a long slide; our leadership role is increasingly less and less important to the world. … What's happened with COVID has made a number of countries aware that the U.S. really is the nation to depend upon, and if we want to play a role as a leader in the world, I think we'll be welcome to do so.”\

International Collaboration with Allies Will Help Challenge China’s Influence

Romney stated that once we establish a national ambition, the U.S., in alliance with other countries, can better compete with China.

“China's national ambition is … by 2049 to have the most powerful military in the world, to have the leading economy of the world, and to be the geopolitical leader of the world,” said Romney. “[But] what is our ambition? [We need] to establish very clearly what our ambition is [and] … develop a very comprehensive strategy to achieve our ambition.”

Rather than fighting with our allies, we must come together to “make sure that China understands what the rules of the road are” and lead the world in technology, Romney added.

Confronting the Challenges of Cybersecurity Starts With Updating Old Infrastructure

Following the recent crippling ransomware attack on Colonial Pipeline, Romney notes that the U.S. needs to step up its game to keep companies and government agencies protected.

“About 85% of the successful [cyber]attacks are a result of enterprises not having the kind of up-to-date technology to protect their systems,” said Romney. “If we get people to use the most modern techniques on the 85%, then our specialists will be able to do a better job protecting us against the 15% that are really, really tough [to protect].”

“Banks [have] a long history of protecting data,” Romney added. “They haven't been submitted to the kinds of successful attacks you've seen in government and throughout the rest of our economic systems. And so we need to learn from them.”



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