IntroductionThe United States and the Global Economy TALK ABOUT DAVOS.
EU TRADE AND NATOThe world is a global village. This truism has been evermore evident in recent decades with the phenomenon known as globalization – thegrowing interconnectedness of the various economies, cultures and ideas aroundthe world. The advancement in science and technology, particularly in lessdeveloped countries have greatly benefited from elements prominent in thisglobal era: migration, the transfer of capital and investments, trading and transaction,and the dissemination of knowledge. While arguments could made to support thepositive impacts of globalization, there has equally been dark sides to it. The2008 financial crisis has been viewed as a downside of globalization rearingits ugly head.
Other demerits include threats to the environmental like globalwarming and air pollution and threats to global security by way ofinternational terrorism. In light of this, countries formulate policies thatminimize the costs and maximize the benefits of this growing phenomenon, withthe United States, moving strong in this direction.Globalization and America First”America First” was a slogan that featured quite prominentlyin the 2016 presidential campaign trail. Popularized by the President Trump,the slogan which guides America’s foreign policy, is aimed at channelingresources into furthering America’s interest, locally and at the world stage.
Following from this, the Trump administration pushed an agenda that emphasizedgetting the most out of trade agreements for American citizens. Woven aroundthe policy is a narrative that stresses the need to soft-pedal financially onmatters at the international scene that the administration perceives, do notdirectly affect Americans. In line with the America First agenda, the Trumpadministration sought for a renegotiation of the North American free TradeAgreement (NAFTA). Top on the list was a lowering of the United States’ tradedeficit. The Trump administration equallysought for the removal of provisions that gave Canada and Mexico trade rightsto appeal duties imposed by the United States and restricted the ability of theUS to impose import limitations on Canada and Mexico.Wesley (2017) sheds more light on the America’s wariness toforge global partnerships.
One of the major reasons for the longevity ofdiplomatic ties between the US and its allies is that their benefits have beenseen to immensely dwarf their costs. For much of their history, US allianceshave not exactly cost much, both America and its allies. While it has become routinefor American defense policymakers to be critical of their allies’ inadequate spendingon defense, there is not a lot to show that America’s alliance commitmentscontributed to higher US defense spending than would otherwise have been thecase while for most part of their tenure. Most US basing commitments in Asiaand Europe have been financially supported by its smaller allies. The UnitedStates is to a large extent guided by the maxim, “there is no free lunch inInternational Relations”. President Trump made this clear in the 2016presidential campaign when he committed to requiring US allies in Europe andAsia to pay more of their security or risk comprising America’s deep ties withher allies in those places.
The exit from the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) was anothereventuality that dealt a heavy to globalization. Twelve countries including theUS situated around the border of the Pacific Ocean signed up to the TPP inFebruary 2016, representing roughly 40% of the world’s economic output. Thepact aimed to strengthen economic ties between these nations, lowering tariffsand fostering trade to boost growth. President Obama spent a great deal of hispresidency working towards the actualization a deal. Members had equally hopedto forge closer ties on economic policies and regulation.
All that changed whenDonald Trump assumed office as President. President Donald Trump madeabandoning the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal a key part of hiselection campaign and on his first day in office, he fulfilled that bit of the campaign.The agreement was structured so that it could eventually create a new singlemarket, something similar to that of the European Union. US involvement was anessential fulcrum for the deal. It may be possible for the other countries toforge a smaller scale pact in its place, but it can’t go ahead in its currentform.
Trump has repeatedly said that the deal was a horrible deal, followingfrom the comments of critics of the TPP who say that the deal would cost USjobs and provide a platform for companies to sue governments that change policyon health and education to favor state-sponsored programs. And it was also seenas escalating competition between countries’ labor forces. America’s economicprosperity is required before the agreement can be ratified and set in motion.As Japan’s Prime Minister put it, “a TPP without the US – and its market of 250million consumers – would be “meaningless”.”From the foregoing, it is abundantly clear, that the USwields some kind of hegemonic influence on the global political economy.
Haggart (2017) examines key factors that grants a nation some leverage to actautonomously in the international system. Using the Strangean framework he points the interaction of four key sourcesof structural power, each responding to a fundamental human need. They include:security, production, finance, and knowledge. In his work, he ranks securityand finance as two very prominent factors that has placed the US at the helm ofaffairs in a unipolar world. In 2017, America contributed 22.1% to NATO budget.The highest contribution of any nation. The US also ranks number one in termsof Share of Nominal GDP.
These confer on it, a status that makes it almost aninvaluable country in the international system.The United States again took a back seat in the world ofglobalization when President Trump announced in June 2017, his intention towithdraw the United States from the Paris Agreement. The agreement, reached withinthe United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), is concernedwith recognizing the need for an effective and progressive response to the urgentthreat of climate change on the basis of the best available scientific knowledge.
It also concerns itself with recognizing the specific needs and specialcircumstances of developing countries, party to the agreement, especially thosethat are particularly vulnerable to the adverse effects of climate change, asprovided for in the Convention, taking full account of the specific needs andspecial situations of the least developed countries with regard to funding andtransfer of technology. The agreement equally acknowledges the fundamentalpriority of safeguarding food security and ending hunger, and the particularvulnerabilities of food production systems to the adverse impacts of climatechange. The largest human influence on climate change is theemission of greenhouse gases carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide. The USis the world’s largest emitter of greenhouse gases, second only to China.Notwithstanding, the Trump administration has chosen to steer clear ofcommitting financial resources to actualize the goals of the Convention. ThePresident chose to do so in a bit to further America’s interest in abroad,saying he was “elected to represent the people of Pittsburgh not Paris”.A personal take (EDIT)Supporters say he has delivered: a military defeat of theIslamic State, greater spending by U.S.
allies on defense and a commitment totransform or abandon international agreements such as NAFTA, the Iran nucleardeal and the Paris climate accord. But the “America first” approachhas also left the United States far more isolated. The overall impact of thepolicy, say diplomats, politicians and analysts interviewed around the world,has been a clear retrenchment of U.
S. power — and an opportunity for U.S.adversaries such as China and Russia.In his recent speech at Davos, the administration attemptedto allay concerns about its agenda. And Gary Cohn, the head of Trump’s NationalEconomic Council, put it this way: “America first is not America alone.” However,America might indeed be alone in the international system.
While she greatlyrecognized as a global power, the Trump administration has forced nations toconceive ways of operating in the global market without reckoning America’seconomic clout at the world stage. A case in point, is America’s decline togrant nearly $2 billion in military aid to Pakistan, while China stepped in tooffer support. Among their actions, the Chinese have committed in recent yearsto a $62 billion infrastructure plan in the region. Pakistan has taken pains todifferentiate between the two powers.Based on the aforementioned facts, I strongly support Americaneconomy enmeshed in globalization. My parents stand with me on this.
However,it may be that we are from a developing and look for more support from thedeveloped nations like the United States ConclusionOver the years, countries across the globe have increasinglyrelied on one another in virtually in every aspect of their economies. The unipolarsystem ReferencesSeptember 20, 2017. President Donald J.
Trump at the UnitedNations General Assembly: Outlining an America First Foreign Policy. https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefings-statements/president-donald-j-trump-united-nations-general-assembly-outlining-america-first-foreign-policy/January 23, 2017. TPP: What is it and why does it matter? http://www.
bbc.com/news/business-32498715December 12, 2015. Adoption of the Paris Agreement http://unfccc.int/files/essential_background/convention/application/pdf/english_paris_agreement.pdf MICHAEL WESLEY. ANU Press. (2017).
Comparing US Alliances inthe 21st Century. Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/j.ctt1sq5twz.4