Daniel W. Drezner

Well, at least this is a bureaucratic battle worth having

Noam Scheiber reports on a battle a-brewin’ within the Obama administration: Foggy Bottom has spent the last month hinting at its designs on economic policy, which would presumably come at the expense of Treasury. The latest indications are that Hillary’s first target may be the U.S.-China relationship, which Geithner’s immediate predecessor, Hank Paulson, spearheaded in ...

Noam Scheiber reports on a battle a-brewin’ within the Obama administration:

Foggy Bottom has spent the last month hinting at its designs on economic policy, which would presumably come at the expense of Treasury. The latest indications are that Hillary’s first target may be the U.S.-China relationship, which Geithner’s immediate predecessor, Hank Paulson, spearheaded in the Bush administration. Publicly, Treasury officials welcome a more active role for State. Privately, they say parting with Paulson’s brainchild, the Strategic Economic Dialogue, is highly unlikely, noting Geithner’s longstanding experience in the region. Let the border skirmishes begin.

On the one hand, this kind of turf war clearly needs to get settled in short order.

On the other hand, in a perverse kind of way, it’s not a bad battle to have. Despite all the foreign policy heavyweights in the administration, China is kind of like the orphaned child looking through the window. Since Obama took office, I think it’s safe to say that they haven’t been feeling the love.

I normally abhor a big bureaucratic battle royale, but in this case it might be good for the Chinese to know that they’re wanted.

Question to readers (and Laura Rozen and Megan Carpentier): who wins? Given the status quo — in which Treasury controls the SED — my money is on Geithner.

Daniel W. Drezner is a professor of international politics at Tufts University’s Fletcher School. He blogged regularly for Foreign Policy from 2009 to 2014. Twitter: @dandrezner