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‘Global Governance Without US’ Will Not Grind to Halt, But Forge Ahead

Even if the US withdraws from international organizations, states and other institutions may not follow, says international relations expert

By Xu Mouquan Updated Oct.12

With diminishing and even no US participation, global governance will not grind to a halt, but will forge on, despite the difficulties, said a prominent international relations professor. 

In his recent address at the UN General Assembly, US President Donald Trump claimed global governance is threatening US sovereignty and his country will not embrace global governance. His administration has been delivering a severe blow to global governance with his current policies – especially trade unilateralism, Pang Zhongying, professor of international relations at the Ocean University of China, wrote in Shanghai-based news portal The Paper.

Then again, things are not as bad as they seem. While Trump claims sovereignty is of the greatest importance, his administration is still intervening in other countries’ affairs, Pang noted. And even in the extreme case that the US exits from the UN and other international organizations, the country will still wield influence over them, and over other countries using the existing international rules and standards, Pang claimed.  

On the other hand, without US participation, global governance will not come to an end, but forge ahead, Pang pointed out, citing European countries’ staunch support of multilateralism. Besides, before Trump’s presidency, international organizations without the US have emerged – including the Asia-Europe Meeting, BRICS, and the China-led Belt and Road Initiative. Equally notable is that while the US federal government might withdraw, its state governments, organizations and individuals will not necessarily follow suit.

With the disruption brought about by Trump, existing global governance will have to speed up the pace of reform, Pang predicted. If not, the World Trade Organization will not be able to claim it represents global economic rules in the 21st century, Pang warned. He said leaders of other countries had also called on the UN Security Council to accelerate reform.