The United States should take a cue from the leaders of emerging powers like India and Brazil who put economics at the centre of their foreign policies, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has urged policymakers.
"When their leaders approach a foreign policy challenge -- just as when they approach a domestic challenge -- one of the first questions they ask is, 'how will this affect our economic growth?'" she told the Economic Club of New York in what was billed as a major economics and foreign policy speech.
"We need to be asking the same question -- not because the answer will dictate our foreign policy choices, but because it must be a significant part of the equation," she said declaring she is updating US foreign policy priorities to include economics "every step of the way."
The United States must position itself to lead in a world "where security is shaped in boardrooms and on trading floors -- as well as on battlefields," Clinton said noting "We have seen governments toppled by economic crisis."
The United States is "modernising (its) agenda on trade, investment and commercial diplomacy to deliver jobs and growth for the American people," she said. But Washington cannot compete if it is frozen in domestic political fights.
"Washington has to end the culture of political brinksmanship -- which, I can tell you, is raising questions around the world about our leadership."
Asked how corporate strength could be used to benefit the creation of jobs and enhance economic growth in the United States, Clinton acknowledged "It's not as though American companies go invest in China or India or Brazil and there's no benefit back home. there is."
"But the quality of the benefit, the amount of the benefit, and the durability of the benefit depend upon decisions we make here as to how we think about our competitive stance in this new challenging environment."
The world's "strategic and economic centre of gravity is shifting east", she said and the United States is now focusing more on the Asia-Pacific region.