Trade War and Peace: View from the Middle East
With the US-China trade war escalating by the day, the seismic impact of this geo-economic rivalry on the future of the world trading system is hotly debated among academic, business and policy circles. Old assumptions about the relationship between trade, war and peace are being revisited. The question is how to rethink the enlightenment and liberal ideas from Montesquieu to Cordell Hull about the causal impact of trade openness on peace. It is argued that along with other causal factors, certain “modes” of trading relations might lead to entrenchment of peace and stability while others might exacerbate security concerns or even lead to war. The Middle East provides a useful context for testing hypotheses in the trade and pace debate.
Here are the key questions addressed in this talk:
– What are the impacts of trade alliances and rivalries on peace and security between and among trading partners in the Middle East?
– Will the existing economic and legal structure of trade (including existing and emerging Regional Trade Agreements or “RTAs”) intensify or soften conflicts?
– What is the role of regional and international “intermediaries” in the “spaghetti bowls” of the Western and Central Asia?
– How may the US-China trade war impact the future of the region?
– What are the 21st century tools available in the US economic artillery and what lessons can be learned here from the ongoing experience of broad and crippling sanctions currently imposed by the United States against Iran?