Matt Rooney joined the Bush Center in June 2015 from a career as a Foreign Service Officer with the U.S. Department of State. At postings in Washington and abroad, Matt focused on advocating market-driven solutions to economic policy challenges in both industrialized and developing countries, and on protecting the interests of U.S. companies abroad.
In Washington, Matt was on loan to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to create a high-level private sector advisory body for the Summits of the Americas, working closely with the U.S. private sector and with companies and business associations from throughout the Americas to negotiate an agenda to promote economic integration in the region for presentation to the leaders of the Americas. Previously, he was Deputy Assistant Secretary responsible for relations with Canada and Mexico and for regional economic policy. Prior to this, as Director of the Office of Economic Policy, he led interagency and international negotiations in 2008 that produced the Secretary’s Pathways to Prosperity in the Americas initiative, designed to engage with our Free Trade Agreement partners on strategies for ensuring that the benefits of globalization are broadly shared in our societies.
Abroad, Matt was Consul General in Munich, a Consulate General providing a full range of Consular and export promotion services, supporting a permanent presence of 30,000 U.S. forces in two major base complexes, and performing political and economic analysis in support of U.S. diplomatic objectives in Germany. As Counselor for Economic and Commercial Affairs at the U.S. Embassy in San Salvador, El Salvador, he laid the groundwork for free trade negotiations between the United States and the five countries of Central America, and promoted market-based reforms for electrical power. Prior to this, Matt served in various posts in Germany, Gabon and Côte d’Ivoire.
Matt studied Economics, German and French at the University of Texas at Austin and received his Master’s Degree in International Management at the University of Texas at Dallas. With his wife Dianna, Matt has two young adult sons.
Related Articles and Resources
Deporting Salvadorans May Lead to Economic Decline
We should think carefully about a policy whose major impacts are likely to be reductions in employment and economic activity here at home, and increased instability and lawlessness along our borders.
Trade Balance Has Very Little to Do with Trade Policy
Although most the objectives in renegotiating NAFTA set forth by the Administration Monday are consistent with the parameters defined by the Congress in the 2015 Trade Promotion Authority bill, the Administration’s preoccupation with the trade balance breaks with seventy years of U.S. trade policy – a period that has produced strong economic growth, a robust middle class, rising levels of education and wealth, remarkable innovation and broad international peace.
If You Like Guacamole, You Have a Stake in NAFTA
Economic Growth Director Matthew Rooney reflects on a panel discussion held at the Bush Center Monday which addressed NAFTA, borders, and security.
Growth, Prosperity and the Middle Class: Saving Globalization from Populism
By clinging to yesterday’s industries and technologies, we are preventing the industries and technologies of tomorrow from taking root in the U.S.
Catching the Wave of the Next Big Thing
In a way, NAFTA made the internet possible. To call NAFTA and globalization into question today is to inhibit this process of “creative destruction” from taking place.
Quick Take: What France's Presidential Election Means
Matthew Rooney, director of the George W. Bush Institute’s Economic Growth Initiative, gives his overview of the election of Emmanuel Macron as France’s new president, focusing on what the election means in terms of the heated international debate over protectionism versus liberalizing trading relationships.
NAFTA SOS: In Defense of a Good Deal
A look at how NAFTA creates benefits for the United States, Canada, and Mexico, including beyond trading relationships
Seven Ways to Think Differently about Trade Deficits
Some think America is a chump because our market is open while we let other countries limit our access to their markets. Luckily for America, this way of looking at our trade balance is almost entirely wrong.
Five Ways to Strengthen North America
The visit of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to Washington this week once again puts the North American alliance in the spotlight. Here are five ways to make the alliance work better for the economies of each nation.
Globalization is Dead – Long Live Globalization
As American-led globalization continues to decline, the key to preserving its successes and making it work for more people lies in balancing the federal budget.
Making NAFTA into a Tool for National Prosperity
Strengthening the North American economic relationship rather than pulling back from it would better support stronger economic growth and secure American jobs.
Simplifying Border Crossings for Goods Will Help the Economy
The macroeconomic benefits of this could be significant. Our initial estimates suggest that these small changes in how we plan and fund cross-border infrastructure could increase U.S. GDP by one percentage point, about $220 billion...
We Need to Keep North America Working
It may be fashionable to question the relationships across North America, especially the U.S. relationship with Mexico. But the reality is, North America works.
The Truth Is That We Need Immigrants
We need immigrants so that we can continue to innovate and prosper. It may seem ironic, but the truth is, immigrants made America and will make it again in the future.
How “the worst trade deal in history” has strengthened North America for Everyone
In a political year, it’s not surprising that conversation around economic issues eschews facts in favor of sound bites. But the current rhetoric around trade is not only incorrect, it’s irresponsible. Here’s the real story on the North American Free Trade Agreement and how it helped all North Americans, the U.S. included. Canada was already an industrialized, middle-class country in 1993, but it was economically stagnant and struggling to provide opportunities for Canadian youth. Today, thanks in large part to the guaranteed access to the U.S. market offered by NAFTA, Canada is at a comparable level with the U.S. As our partner in NORAD, which secures the North American airspace and maritime domain, and a member alongside us in NATO, Canada not only secures our northern border, but they maintain a highly capable military that invests in equipment (that they buy from us) to sustain interoperability with U.S. forces. Canada’s military has fough
What Brexit Means, Including for North America
Putting up walls and pulling back from the global economy is unlikely to address the underlying concern. After all, no country has ever become or remained wealthy in isolation from the global economy – on the contrary, all countries that wall themselves off are poor, weak and oppressive. The U.S. approach to globalization has been fundamentally different: we have never transferred one iota of our national sovereignty to any supra-national body.
In Case You Missed It: One-hundred seventy years ago, the world’s largest border came into being
One-hundred seventy years ago today, the world’s largest, secure border came into being.
The Truth About Us
...the image of Mexico held by many Americans is distorted by preconceptions and prejudices that can blind us to the many benefits of our close economic and political relationship.
Views on North America from the Governor's Mansion to the White House
Growing up in Texas and then becoming its governor before being elected the 43rd President of the U.S., George W. Bush has spent his life in the center of North America. He reflects on his personal relationships and those of the U.S. with our North American neighbors.
A Stable North America Translates into Greater Security
Canada has long enjoyed a prosperous relationship with the United States. But former Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird watched North America as a whole grow in strength and security because of free trade on the continent.
Making a Good North American Neighborhood Even Better
A commitment to North America will pay dividends not only in terms of economic prosperity for the U.S., but will also have an important impact on national security.
Why North America Matters
The Bush Institute is launching a North America Competitiveness Initiative. And while that is a complex title, the goals are simple: We want...
The Raging, Trading Pragmatist
Ron Kirk describes himself as a pro-business, pro-trade Democrat. As U.S. trade representative in the Obama administration, he helped broker the Trans-Pacific Partnership. But as the mayor of Dallas, Kirk watched a newly-signed North American Free Trade Agreement have a significant impact on the region.
Foreign Policy Starts in the Neighborhood
Over the past four decades, George Shultz has had a unique perch from which to watch the North American continent grow in prosperity. But while North America stands as a global powerhouse, the former secretary of state reminds us that we still have room to grow.