Planned trade deals should be reconsidered in the age of escalating violence

Planned trade deals should be reconsidered in the age of escalating violence

World trade is about to see a dramatic change with two huge planned trade deals, which will cover almost 80 percent of the total trade in the world. The planned Trans-Pacific Partnerships (TPP) and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), which will strengthen mainly America’s hands in the global trade, should, however, be reconsidered carefully in the age of terror, which is definitely fueled by deep inequalities of wealth across the world. 

Before elaborating my claim, let me shortly review the latest G-20 summit, which was held in the Mediterranean resort of Antalya on Nov. 15-16. The main topic of the summit was the fight against terrorism as France’s capital Paris faced disastrous terror attacks on Nov. 13, which left 129 dead. Similar terror attacks are unfortunately the case in many parts of the world now, such as the Turkish capital Ankara and the Lebanese capital of Beirut, among others. 

The G-20 leaders gave solid messages in the fight against terrorism and underlined the principle of “inclusiveness” in world economy. Such messages will, however, be nothing more than wishful thinking as long as they are supported by solid policies and discourses that are the roots of the problems. 

Some speeches have given hope in this vein. For instance, some leading businesspeople showed tendencies to question the core of capitalism, which triggers “wealth inequalities” across the world. 

One of Turkey’s leading businesspeople has, for example, recommended interventions in capitalism to “sort out inequality.” 

“Capitalism should be sorted out to stop inequality,” Koç Group of Companies Executive Board Member Ali Koç said during the Business-20 (B-20) meetings. 

“I think inequality should be as minimized as possible. The real problem is capitalism,” Koç said, adding that globalization had no humanitarian side.

This was a good example that shows a strong need for questioning the popular form of capitalism, as the deepening wealth equality between countries does not help in preventing social, economic and political clashes.

In this vein, the two huge trade deals which are planned to combine the two sides of both the Pacific Rim and the Atlantic Ocean need to be reconsidered, as these deals worth trillions of dollars will create obvious losers in the world trade, like China, Russia, India, Africa and the Middle East. Instead of being excluded from the very center of world trade, these regions need to be encouraged to play a larger part in it.  

Besides, the more such countries are excluded, the more they’ll find new ways to maintain their economic and trade system. For instance, after the planned TPP deal was first announced with the expected 12 Pacific Rim countries, excluding China, the latter developed highly ambitious projects to boost investment and trade across Asia, such as the revival of the Silk Road Project. 

This is quite normal and such projects will fuel the global economy. The question is whether the big economies from different huge trade blocs will agree on joint action solutions to the future’s potential violent attacks.