Former president of Mexico: the world is at the crossroads of confrontation and cooperation

In the last four years, the rule-based international system and its multilateral institutions have been under unprecedented attack. Although the damage to the multilateral system is caused by many reasons, the United States, as a rule breaker, is more responsible than other countries. Although all attacks on the international system by the trump administration are actually against the national interests of the United States, the United States has carried out these attacks, especially in the trade policies of the trump administration. First, the trump administration wants to correct the trade deficit and current account deficit of the U.S. economy for many years. In order to achieve this goal, they adopted the wrong method – attacking the main trading partners one after another, forcing the other side to reach an agreement, and attempting to solve the trade imbalance with the other side. This method not only ignores the basic concept of modern comparative advantage theory and the basic principle of basic national income accounting identity, but also regards international trade as the battlefield of zero sum game, which leads to the U.S. government’s attempt to solve the problem of external imbalance by means of self binding protectionism. Second, after trump took office, the United States withdrew from the trans Pacific Partnership Agreement without giving any economic or geopolitical reasons. Trump’s decision not only caused the United States to suffer huge economic losses, but also lost its geopolitical influence in the Asia Pacific region. On November 15 this year, the regional comprehensive economic partnership agreement was officially signed. The success of the world’s largest free trade agreement highlights Trump’s incompetence and has done something harmful to the interests of the United States by withdrawing from the TPP. Third, trump absurdly forced Mexico and Canada to renegotiate NAFTA. To a large extent, this has weakened North America’s competitiveness in the global market. Fourth, the trump administration has made it difficult for the world trade organization to move forward by preventing the appointment of new members to the Appellate Body of the dispute settlement mechanism. The fact is that the United States is the country that uses the dispute settlement mechanism most frequently, and has filed more lawsuits than China and the European Union combined, and the United States wins more than all other countries. Fifthly, it is the worst trade policy of the trump administration to launch a trade war for no reason. The United States launched a trade war against its “friendly” trading partners, such as Canada, Mexico, Brazil and European countries, imposing arbitrary tariffs on imported products such as steel and aluminum. As many experts have pointed out, such conduct is blatant contempt of the law. However, after a serious legal and economic analysis of these arguments, it is found that the so-called reasons of the United States are problematic and even obviously illegal. < / P > < p > the U.S. did not win the trade war launched by Trump – in fact, the trade war never won, and it was the American consumers, farmers and taxpayers who paid for Trump’s folly. < / P > < p > global powers can choose to follow a path that is highly likely to lead to disaster. This road abandons the rule-based international system, ignores the value of international cooperation, adopts unilateral or bilateral approaches to solve problems involving collective interests, expands military power rather than focusing on diplomacy and people’s livelihood, continues to “throw the pot” at the social consequences caused by the failure of local policies to other countries, and continues to regard international trade, investment and immigration as a zero sum game. In short, global powers are weakening the positive aspects of the world order, which was established only after two world wars and one great depression in the first half of the 20th century. If we continue to follow this road, history may repeat itself. As in the past, it will bring mankind enormous, unnecessary and unnecessary suffering, even more serious than in the past. Or, global powers and enlightened emerging countries can decisively decide to join hands in another path, the path to international peace and prosperity, and the path most likely to benefit all countries. < / P > < p > there is no doubt that it is not easy to take the second road, although the prospect is bright. The inertia of the first path has grown significantly in recent years, and even for citizens of the world living in an open society, a confrontational worldview is beginning to take shape. < / P > < p > repairing damaged international relations and cooperation requires patience, diplomatic skills and a slow restoration of mutual trust. But I would like to emphasize that, despite the bad behavior of the United States during the trump administration, the reconstruction and improvement of the multilateral system requires the goodwill and efforts of all other stakeholders.