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  Félix Peña

INTERNATIONAL TRADE RELATIONS NEWSLETTER
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AN UNCERTAIN AND PROFOUNDLY CHANGING WORLD
Its potential effects on the development of world trade

por Félix Peña
May 2022


 

The diversity of options for international insertion is accompanied by a growing uncertainty about the potential effects -even long term- of events and situations originating in other countries.

This is all the more evident when, due to either geographic location or relative power, the impact can be felt by other countries and the international system as a whole.

Three recent books are useful to help us understand these contemporary processes. Likewise, a recent article by Juan Gabriel Tokatlián helps identify the options open to Argentina and the countries of the region if the competition for global economic leadership between the United States and China were to intensify.

The changes observed today at multiple levels of international relations, both global and regional, increase the need to seek an intelligent understanding of the effects that they would have on the outlook of any country and its geographic region.

Such effects can be profound for Argentina and the South American geographic space. This is one more reason to join efforts with our neighbors to develop a shared understanding of the international reality that is not only intelligent but also action-oriented.


Today's world is more densely populated and increasingly connected. It also shows a growing diversity in the cultural, political and economic preferences of its citizens.

The options available to the people of a country to link up with the rest of the world have also multiplied. This can be seen, among other things, in the foreign trade of goods and services, in productive investments, in access to technical knowledge, culture, tourism, vocational training and work.

The diversity of options for international insertion is accompanied by a growing uncertainty about the potential effects -even in the long term- of events and situations originating in other countries.

This is still more obvious when, due to the geographic location and relative power, the impact can be felt on other countries and on the international system in general. Two current examples illustrate this view.

The first is the case of the war between Russia and Ukraine. Two months after the Russian invasion, it is still difficult to predict the future evolution of the conflict and its duration. What is clear is that it has implications that transcend the military aspect and penetrate deeply into the politics, economy and social development of the respective countries. It also has notorious impacts on both the European and Eurasian regions, which are projected to the global level, as is the case, for example, of the world trade in foodstuffs and the environment.

Another example is what was observed in the recent elections in France. The victory of President Emmanuel Macron, on April 24, should be assessed in view of the results of the upcoming legislative elections next June, as well as of the impact that these and the elections in other European countries may have on the development of the European Union. In both cases, what we are seeing has deep roots that go beyond the current international situation.

Three recent books are useful in order to understand these contemporary processes, even in the perspective of a country's foreign trade development.

The first of these books helps understand the deeper roots of the current crisis in Ukraine, especially within the context of the European region. The work, entitled "Blood and Ruins. The Last Imperial War (1931-1945)", was written by Richard Overy (for more details, see the recommended reading section of our March 2022 newsletter). A central tenet of this book on the last imperial war is the need to acknowledge that what linked the different areas and forms of conflict evident in World War II and earlier was the existence of a global imperial order, dominated mainly by Britain and France. This gave rise to and stimulated ambitions in Japan, Italy and Germany to ensure their survival and to express their national identity through the conquest of land for their own imperial domain.

The second book (in French) helps understand the changes that have taken place in France in recent years, partly as a consequence of migration but, above all, of the fragmentation resulting from the multiple ruptures that have taken place on the educational, geographic, social, generational, ideological and ethno-cultural levels, generating more or less extended islands and islets. We are referring to "L'Archipel Francais. Naissance d'une nation multiple et divisée", by Jérome Fourquet (for more information on this work refer to the recommended reading of our March 2022 newsletter).

The third book, "The United States vs. China. The Quest for Global Economic Leadership", by Fred Bergsten, has just been published (see the details under recommended reading at the end of this newsletter). Its main topic is the competition for global economic leadership between the United States and China. The book analyzes the ability and willingness of the two countries to exercise that leadership and examines possible systemic alternatives. These are: a G-0 world with no effective leadership and which could be stable or unstable; a new G-1 with Chinese characteristics; and a G-2 based on co-leadership between the two global superpowers. The book ends with conclusions and recommendations for a policy of conditional competitive cooperation, starting with steps towards a stable G-0 in the short term and an informal, but effective, G-2 in the long term.

A very recent article by Juan Gabriel Tokatlián (listed as recommended reading of this newsletter) helps understand the options open to Argentina and the countries of the region if the competition for global economic leadership between the United States and China continues to intensify. In the conclusion Tokatlián states: "a diplomacy that seeks an equidistant position between Washington and Beijing is not an option: it is a necessity".

The changes that can be witnessed today at the multiple levels of international relations, both global and regional, heighten the need to seek an intelligent understanding of the effects they would have on the development of foreign trade, both from the perspective of a country and of its geographical region.

These changes can be profound for Argentina and the South American geographic space. It is one more reason to join efforts with our neighbors in order to develop a shared understanding of the international reality that is both intelligent and action-oriented (in this regard, refer to the initiative described in our April 2022 newsletter).


Lecturas recomendadas:


  • Armstrong, Shiro; Rizal Damuri, Yose, "Going above and beyond RCEP´s negotiated agreement", East Asia Forum, April 18, 2022, www.eastasiaforum,org.
  • Balaguer, Adriana, "Razones geopolíticas. La globalización sufre el impacto de la invasión de Rusia a Ucrania", Ideas Supplement, La Nación newspaper, April 9, 2022.
  • Bergsten, C. Fred, "The United States vs. China. The Quest for Global Economic Leadership", Polity Press, Cambridge - London 2022.
  • Black, Jeremy, "Geopolitics and the Quest for Dominance", Indiana University Press. Bloomington, Indiana 2016.
  • Chakraborty, Debashis, "Will India trade the East for the West?", East Asia Forum, April 6, 2022, www.eastasiaforum.org.
  • Crespo, Eduardo, "El fin del orden económico global", Le Monde Diplomatique, Edición 274, April 2022, pp. 4 - 5.
  • Fundación EU-LAC, "Multilateralismo y Regionalismo en Tiempos Desafiantes: Relaciones entre Europa y América Latina y el Caribe", Fundación EU-LAC, Observatorio Regionalismo, Hamburg 2022.
  • Garcia-Herrero, Alicia, "The Russia-Ukraine crisis is bad news for China economy", East Asia Forum April 18, 2022, www.eastasiaforum.org.
  • Gerstle, Gary, "The Rise and Fall of the Neoliberal Order. America and the World in the Free Market Era", Oxford University Press, New York 2022.
  • Hazareesingh. Sudhir, "How the French Think, An Affectionate Portrait of an Intellectual People", Penguin Books 2016.
  • Hazareesingh, Sudhir, "Black Spartacus. The Epic Life of Toussaint Louverture", Picador - Farrar, Straus and Giroux, New York 2021.
  • Jongwanich, Juthathip, "Russia war on Ukraine threatens Southeast Asia economic recovery", East Asia Forum, April 21, 2022, www.eastasiaforum.org.
  • Khan Miankhel, Adil, "Engaging with Central Asia vital for China and India", East Asia Forum, April 2, 2022, www.eastasiaforum.org.
  • Kimura, Fukunari, "A framework for ongoing commitments to RECEP success", East Asia Forum, April 4, 2022, www.eastasiaforum.org.
  • Korolev, Alexander, "Why China won't condemn Putin's Ukraine war", East Asia Forum, April 19, 2022, www.eastasiaforum.org.
  • Libedinsky, Juana, "Niall Ferguson. Pensar la guerra y el futuro", La Nación Magazine, Sunday April 8, 2022.
  • Lovely, Mary E., "A US-Indo-Pacific framework that tries to build out China is unrealistic", East Asia Forum, April 10, 2022, www.eastasiaforum.org.
  • Meltzer, Joshua P., "The high stakes Indo-Pacific Economic Framework'', East Asia Forum, April 9. 2022, www.eastasiaforum.org.
  • Menons, Jayant, "RECEP and ASEAN: old and new"; East Asia Forum April 25, 2022, www.eastasiaforum.org.
  • Natanson, José, "Rusia y Ucrania en un mundo nuevo", Le Monde diplomatique, Edición 274, April 2022, pp. 2 - 3.
  • Nath, Rahul, "Explaining India's growing enthusiasm for FTAs", East Asia Forum, April 25, 2022, www.eastasiaforum.org.
  • Nephew, Richard, "The Art of Sanctions. A View from the Field", Center on Global Energy Policy Series, Columbia University Press, New York 2018.
  • Ogilvie-White, Tanya, "Redesigning security architecture in a post-invasion world", East Asia Forum, April 21, 2022, www.eastasiaforum.org.
  • Overy, Richard, "Blood and Ruins. The Last Imperial War, 1931-1945", Viking, Penguin Random House, New York 2022.
  • Patil, Sameer, "Ukraine sanctions stress test US-India relations", East Asia Forum, April 21, 2022, www.eastasiaforum.org.
  • Peña, Félix,"El comercio internacional en un mundo diversificado e incierto", Foreign Trade Supplement La Nación newspaper, April 21, 2022, p-3.
  • Phoumin, Han, "War in Ukraine and rising energy costs risk hampering Asia's decarbonization efforts", East Asia Forum, April 26, 2022, www.eastasiaforum.org.
  • Quah, Danny; Thomas, Vinod, "Building resilience and preventive responses to withstand global crises", East Asia Forum, April 26, 2022, www.eastasiaforum.org.
  • Reid, Anna, "Borderland. A Journey Through the History of Ukraine", Basic Books, New York 2015.
  • Sahu, Akash; Parrikar,Manohar,"India-Japan economic ties key to regional stability", East Asia Forum, April 28, 2022, www.eastasiaforum.org.
  • Snyder, Timothy, "The Reconstruction of Nations. Poland, Belarus, 1569-1999", Yale University Press, New Haven & London 2005.
  • Snyder, Timothy, "On Tyranny Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century", The Duggan Books, New York 2017.
  • Stöckmann, Jan, "The Architects of International Relations. Building a Discipline, Designing the World, 1914-1940", Cambridge University Press, Cambridge-New York 2022.
  • Sulaiman, Yohanes, "Indonesia is a fence sitter on the Russia-Ukraine crisis", East Asia Forum, April 20, 2022, www.eastasiaforum.org.
  • Sundaram, Asha, "India's RCEP exit and its regional future", East Asia Forum, April 12, 2022, www.eastasiaforum.org".
  • Tay, Simon, "Managing China regional economic integration", East Asia Forum, April 27, 2022, www.eastasiaforum.org
  • Tokatlian, Juan Gabriel, "Latin America Doesn't Want a New Cold War. China and Latin America", Americas Quarterly, April 28, 2022..
  • Wicaksana, Gede Wahyu, "Rethinking Indonesia´s non-aligned foreign policy", East Asia Forum, April 27, 2022, www.eastasiaforum.org.
  • Zajec, Olivier, "La amenaza de una Guerra nuclear", Le Monde Diplomatique, Edición 274, April 2022, pp. 20-22.

Félix Peña es Director del Instituto de Comercio Internacional de la Fundación ICBC; Director de la Maestría en Relaciones Comerciales Internacionales de la Universidad Nacional de Tres de Febrero (UNTREF); Miembro del Comité Ejecutivo del Consejo Argentino para las Relaciones Internacionales (CARI). Miembro del Brains Trust del Evian Group. Ampliar trayectoria.

http://www.felixpena.com.ar | info@felixpena.com.ar


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