Important note:  We are obliged to limit the number of attendees in this room to 25 as per fire and safety capacity issues.  We are sorry, but we have to turn away people if we reach the 25 person limit.

The Humanist Cafe


Episode #326

Discussion Forum
 
Free* And Open To All! 
Wednesday, June 19, 2024 – 7:00-8:30 pm
Cook Street Activity Center
380 Cook St. (Cook St. Village), Victoria
Free Parking
Please Use The Side Entrance
Coffee/Tea nearby at The Mocha House – BYO! 

Discussion Topic: Global Trade And Military Alliances: A Decade Of Changes And What It Means

Presenter and Moderator: John Pope

There has been an increased rate of change in global trade alliances over the past decade, driven by shifts in economic power, the rise of protectionism, and the continuous formation of new trade and military agreements. Let’s unravel the statements below and…

Let’s discuss!

Background Information

Trade Alliances:

The rate of changes in global trade alliances has increased over the past decade. This acceleration is attributed to several factors:

  1. Emerging Economies: The rapid rise of emerging markets, especially China, has significantly altered the global trade landscape. China’s increased share in global exports and its active role in forming new trade agreements have reshaped trade dynamics.​ (World Economic Forum, https://ourworldindata.org/trade-and-globalization)​​ (Our World in Data, https://ourworldindata.org/trade-and-globalization)​.
  2. Shifts in Economic Power: Economic power has increasingly shifted from the West to Eurasian and Global South countries, prompting the creation of new trade institutions and alliances that reflect these changes.​ (Chatham House, https://www.chathamhouse.org/publications/the-world-today/2024-02/new-global-alliances-leave-west-behind)​.
  3. Protectionist Policies: There has been a marked increase in protectionist policies and trade distortions, particularly since the rise of populist politics in many countries. This has led to more frequent and impactful changes in trade policies and alliances​.  (Brookings Institute, https://www.brookings.edu/articles/how-has-global-trade-policy-shifted-over-the-past-3-years/)​.
  4. New Trade Agreements: Despite global cooperation challenges, there has been a proliferation of new trade pacts, such as digital trade agreements and regional partnerships like the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), indicating a dynamic and rapidly evolving trade environment​ ( World Economic Forum, https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2024/03/global-cooperation-trade-pacts/)​.

Overall, these factors highlight an increased rate of change in global trade alliances over the past decade, driven by shifts in economic power, the rise of protectionism, and the continuous formation of new trade agreements.Recent analyses of global trade alliances reveal significant changes over the past decade, driven by shifting economic power, particularly towards emerging economies like China, which now accounts for a substantial share of global exports​. Traditional Western dominance in trade has waned, necessitating increased engagement with Global South institutions to maintain influence​. Despite a general decline in global cooperation, new trade agreements continue to emerge, highlighting trade as a unifying force in a fractious geopolitical landscape. Moreover, the rise of South-South trade and the proliferation of preferential trade agreements among developing countries underscore the evolving dynamics of global trade partnerships. 

*********************************************

Military Alliances:

There have been significant strategic adjustments within alliances like NATO and the US-Japan Security Treaty, highlighting the need for enhanced cooperation and defense spending among member states.

1. CSIS’s Four Scenarios for Geopolitical Order (2020-2030): This report explores potential future global power structures, emphasizing the shifting dynamics between the United States and China. It highlights the increasing competition and the impact of COVID-19 on global military alliances, suggesting a move towards a multipolar world order where U.S. alliances play a crucial role in balancing China’s influence.​ (Center for Strategic & International Studies), https://www.csis.org/analysis/four-scenarios-geopolitical-order-2025-2030-what-will-great-power-competition-look

2. Council on Foreign Relations (China’s Modernizing Military): This article details China’s extensive military reforms under Xi Jinping, focusing on creating a modern, integrated fighting force. The changes in China’s military capabilities and strategic focus, particularly in maritime and aerial domains, are significant factors altering global military alliances and power balances​.  (Council on Foreign Relations, https://www.cfr.org/backgrounder/chinas-modernizing-military

3. MIT CENTER FOR INTERNATIONAL STUDIES: This discussion evaluates the current state and future of key U.S. alliances, such as NATO, the US-Japan Security Treaty, and ANZUS. It argues for a reassessment of these alliances to address modern threats and strategic priorities, highlighting shifts in defense spending and strategic commitments among U.S. allies​.  https://cis.mit.edu/publications/analysis-opinion/2021/americas-alliances-achieving-common-ends

4. NATO Review (NATO’s Role in a Changing World):  NATO has been adapting to new security challenges over the past decade, including cyber threats, hybrid warfare, and the resurgence of great power competition. This review emphasizes NATO’s evolving strategies and increased cooperation with global partners to address these multifaceted threats​ (Center for Strategic & International Studies, https://www.csis.org/analysis/four-scenarios-geopolitical-order-2025-2030-what-will-great-power-competition-look

5. U.S. Department of State (Reaffirming and Reimagining America’s Alliances): This source discusses how the U.S. is re-evaluating and strengthening its alliances in response to new global challenges. It highlights the need for renewed commitments and strategic adaptations to ensure these alliances remain effective in promoting global security and stability​ (MIT Center for International Studies)​. https://cis.mit.edu/publications/analysis-opinion/2021/americas-alliances-achieving-common-ends

Over the past decade, global military alliances have been reshaped by increasing competition between major powers, particularly the United States and China. As the U.S. seeks to reinforce its alliances in Europe and Asia, China has focused on modernizing its military to project power, especially in maritime and aerial domains. This has led to significant strategic adjustments within alliances like NATO and the US-Japan Security Treaty, highlighting the need for enhanced cooperation and defense spending among member states. The evolving nature of threats, including cyber warfare and hybrid conflicts, further underscores the necessity for these alliances to adapt and remain resilient in a multipolar world order. 


See you there!  Bring a buddy!
* Donations gratefully accepted
www.vsha.ca