The work of the Atlantic Dialogues was officially opened on Thursday afternoon in the presence of high-level Moroccan and international personalities. Organized by the Policy Center of the New South, this seventh edition is attended by no less than 350 speakers from 90 countries.
This Friday, work continues, always in a serene atmosphere. But it is nevertheless important to note that during all the panels held so far, as well as for the extra-thematic discussions on the agenda, the American policy led by a controversial Donald Trump, is omnipresent, even imposes in debates.
From the beginning of the work, at the very moment of the presentation of the Atlantic Currents document, Trump’s policy was invited to the debate. It is to say that the anxiety is in full swing at the moment the United States has at their head an unpredictable and aggressive President in its international politics.
Here in Marrakesh, we are unanimously against this American vision for the world. Indeed, different stakeholders of different nationalities, including American, reject this policy of the White House that continues to plunge the world into doubt and uncertainty.
Younes Abouyoub, director of the United Nations Division on Governance and State Building, emphasizes that “the present US administration is devoting a great deal of effort to undermining the confidence of its allies, and of his rivals. Once it is seriously compromised, nothing is more difficult than restoring confidence, even if the next president were to be a strong supporter of internationalism. ” This diplomat has also devoted his speech to “The hazardous inheritance: from multilateralism to Trump to the collapse of the American myth”.
Same story at the Congolese Eric Ntumba. For this banker, as for the Brazilian academic Otaviano Canuto, an international financial crisis is not excluded in a current context where the President of the world’s largest economic power continues to solitary rider.
For both panellists, “global debt levels associated with the divergent economic trajectories of the United States and other mature economies, in contrast to emerging markets and frontier markets, are set the stage for the next crisis ”.
Madeleine Albright, former US Secretary of State, also shared her concern over Donald Trump’s foreign policy and the withdrawal of the United States from the world’s debates: “How can a country like the United States to retreat and release this space on an international scale that will certainly be filled by other nations? America has to play a role in this direction and not to position itself as a mere policeman of the world. A balance must be found between the negative withdrawal position and that of the gendarme.
The final panel of Thursday’s day was devoted to transatlantic trade, threatened more and more by the rise of protectionism and trade wars, especially between the two largest economic powers in the world, the United States and China. The questioning of free trade agreements by the United States and the restoration of customs and tariff barriers are now a threat to the survival of the WTO and a global system built in Marrakech in 1994 on the occasion of the agreements. According to the speakers, this calls for an urgent reform of the WTO and a redefinition of its action, particularly in the management of conflicts between States.
The question of intra-African trade was also asked with an edifying observation: Africa is the continent where intra-country trade is least developed, with a rate of 15%, against 68% in Europe and 48% in Asia . At issue: the customs barriers imposed by African states, making it an African entrepreneur’s act to export to Europe or the United States easier than within the continent.
On the menu also in relation to the Trump policy, another panel under the theme “The deconstruction of the American world order”.
But, beside this rhetoric, one can wonder if Donald Trump is indeed the only person responsible for the destabilization of the world economic order. The States, especially in Africa, for lack of Democracy and transparency in the management of public affairs, are they not also responsible for the rise of social inequalities in their countries that never stop reaching intolerable thresholds.