WASHINGTON, D.C. – The world is no longer ‘globalizing,’’ says Ian Bremmer, an international affairs expert based at Columbia University.
And the United States is no longer the leader of the pack.
“We will no longer have U.S.-led global institutions,’’ the president of the Eurasia Group told the general membership meeting of the Investment Company Institute here.
There may be global institutions with no leaders. Or U.S-led institutions that are not global. But no global institutions with U.S. running the show any longer, the author of “Every Nation for Itself: Winners and Losers in a G-Zero World” said.
Why? The United States is stepping back and China is stepping up. And, beyond that, there are more nations now taking on roles in world affairs and the global economy than ever.
"The commitments in a changed world have changed," Bremmer said.
After World War II, the U.S. put 10 percent of its gross domestic product into rebuilding Europe.
After the financial crisis of 2008, the U.S. focused on saving its own economy – and had no interest in following Europe’s push for austerity or bailing out any other nation.
“Is it remotely conceivable that we would make any such commitment to anyone outside the U.S. at this point?,’’ Bremmer said. “Is it conceivable that we would make any such commitment for anyone inside the United States?”
Even in Syria, the United States, for instance, has put up a “dotted red line” about intervening militarily. Used to be, yes, if Syria used chemical weapons on its own people. Then, when it did, yes, if Syria did it systematically and continually.
"We are not as interested in being the world's policeman,'' as in former years or even months, he said.
There’s no interest in being the lender of last resort. In being the bailout king of last resort. Or even in driving globalization, he said.
Meanwhile, China’s state-run capitalism has made its economy supercharged and soon to be the world’s largest. And, with that, it has become a bigger lender to emerging economies than the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, combined.
And the strings it puts on the capital it injects do not force recipients to do anything about human rights or take up democracy. The strings serve its own economic purposes, instead.
Chinese leaders do not even attend the Davos Economic Forum. Because it follows a Western model. And China, instead, wants to make the rules now. In its own way.
Global agreement on climate control, for instance, is not going to happen. Neither are global trade rules.
Instead, there will be regional trade coalitions, like the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which now includes Japan, Canada, Mexico, Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, the United States and Vietnam. Or Mexico, Canada and the United States model found in the North American Free Trade Agreement.
China will form its own alliances. And the way it approaches those alliances and the rules for its own economy won’t be bad or evil. They’ll just be different, he said.
For instance, there really won’t even be one World Wide Web, Bremmer said, any longer, connecting all institutions and sources of content and services globally. China will have its own World Wide Web … and soon 800 million users.