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If the United States neglects its leadership — starting with projects on trade and climate change — rising powers have indicated their interest in taking up that role through fledgling regional institutions like the China-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank.
“The U.S. is not the strong, solitary economic power that it was in the past. It was so overwhelming in its economic power that it could almost unilaterally determine what was going to happen,” said Tom Bernes, a fellow at the Centre for International Governance Innovation who was previously a Canadian representative at international financial institutions. “But the world is changing.”