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). Thetop priority was a reduction in the United States’ trade deficit. The administration also called for theelimination of provisions that allowed Canada and Mexico to appeal dutiesimposed by the United States and limited the ability of the United States toimpose import restrictions on Canada and Mexico.OVT1 Wesley(2017) sheds more light on the America’s wariness to forge global partnerships.One of the main reasons for the longevity of US alliances has been that theirbenefits have been seen to vastly outweigh their costs.
For much of theirhistory, US alliances have been relatively costless for both America and itsallies. While it has become commonplace for American defence policymakers tocomplain of their allies’ underspending on defence, there is little to suggestthat America’s alliance commitments contributed to higher US defence spendingthan would otherwise have been the case while for much of their tenure, most USbasing commitments in Asia and Europe have been financially supported by itssmaller allies. The United States is to a large extent guided by the maxim,”there is no free lunch in International Relations”. President Trump made thisclear in the 2016 presidential campaign when he committed to requiring USallies in Europe and Asia to pay more of their security or risk comprisingAmerica’s deep ties with her allies in those places.
OVT2 The exit from the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) was anothereventuality that dealt a heavy to globalization. Twelve countries including theUS that border the Pacific Ocean signed up to the TPP in February 2016,representing roughly 40% of the world’s economic output. The pact aimed todeepen economic ties between these nations, slashing tariffs and fosteringtrade to boost growth. President Obama spent a great deal of his presidencyworking towards the actualization a deal. Members had also hoped to foster acloser relationship 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 proved as good as hisword. The agreement was designed so that it could eventually create a newsingle market, something like that of the EU. US participation was the majorlinchpin for the deal. It may be possible for the other countries to forge asmaller scale pact in its place, but it can’t go ahead in its current form.
Trump has repeatedly said that the deal was a horrible deal, following from thecomments of critics of the TPP who say that the deal would cost US jobs andpave the way for companies to sue governments that change policy on, say,health and education to favor state-provided services. And it was also seen asintensifying competition between countries’ labor forces.OVT3 America’s economic prosperity is requiredbefore the agreement can be ratified and set in motion.
As Japan’s PrimeMinister put it, “a TPP without the US – and its market of 250 millionconsumers – 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.TheUnited States again took a back seat in the world of globalization whenPresident Trump announced in June 2017, his intention to withdraw the UnitedStates from the Paris Agreement.
The agreement, reached within the UnitedNations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), is concerned with recognizingthe need for an effective and progressive response to the urgent threat ofclimate change on the basis of the best available scientific knowledge. It alsoconcerns itself with recognizing the specific needs and special circumstancesof developing countries, party to the agreement, especially those that areparticularly vulnerable to the adverse effects of climate change, as providedfor in the Convention, taking full account of the specific needs and specialsituations of the least developed countries with regard to funding and transferof technology. The agreement equally acknowledges the fundamental priority ofsafeguarding food security and ending hunger, and the particular vulnerabilitiesof food production systems to the adverse impacts of climate change. OVT4 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 strong 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. I would 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 OVT1Useyour words for this OVT2Workon this OVT3Editthis OVT4Revamp.