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%20matters/trade%20global%20views_final.pdfIt is fair to ask whether we should be concerned about the future of international trade policy when dire developments arethreateningthe securityinterests of the United States and its partners in the Middle East, Asia, Africa and Europe. In theMiddle East, significant areas of Iraq have been overrunby a toxic offshoot of Al-Qaeda, civil war in Syria rageswith no end in sight, and the Israeli-Palestinian peace process is in tatters.Nuclear negotiationswith Iran have run into trouble, while Libya and Egypt face continuing instability and domestic challenges. In Asia, historic rivalries and disputes over territoryhave heightened tensionsacross the region,most acutely by China’saggressive moves in the South China Seatowards Vietnam, Japan and the Philippines.
Nuclear-armed North Korearemainsisolated, reckless and unpredictable. In Africa, countries are struggling with rising terrorism, violence and corruption. In Europe, Russia continues to foment instabilityand destruction ineastern Ukraine. And within the European Union, lagging economic recovery and the surge in support for extremist parties have left people fearful of increasing violence against immigrants and minority groups and skeptical of further integration.¶ It is tempting to focus solely on these pressing problems and defer less urgent issues—such as forging new disciplines for international trade—to another day, especially when such issues pose challenges of their own. But that would be a mistake. A key motivation in building greater domestic and international consensus for advancing trade liberalization now is precisely the role that greater economic integration can play in opening up new avenues of opportunity for promoting development and increasing economic prosperity. Such initiatives can help stabilize key regions and strengthen the security of the United States and its partners.¶ The last century provides a powerful example of how expanding trade relations can help reduce global tensions and raise living standards. Following World War II, building stronger economic cooperation was a centerpiece of allied efforts to erase battle scars and embrace former enemies. In defeat, the economies of Germany, Italy and Japan faced ruin and people were on the verge of starvation. The United States led efforts to rebuild Europe and to repair Japan’s economy. A key element of the Marshall Plan, which established the foundation for unprecedented growth and the level of European integration that exists today, was to revive trade by reducing tariffs.1 Russia, and the eastern part of Europe that it controlled, refused to participate or receive such assistance. Decades later, as the Cold War ended, the United States and Western Europe sought to make up for lost time by providing significant technical and financial