Stewart M. Patrick

The Internationalist

Patrick assesses the future of world order, state sovereignty, and multilateral cooperation.

Posts by Category

Showing posts for "International Trade"

Learning to Compartmentalize: How to Prevent Big Power Frictions from Becoming Major Global Headaches

by Stewart M. Patrick
U.S. President Barack Obama (C) participates in a G7 leaders meeting during the Nuclear Security Summit in The Hague March 24, 2014. At the table (L-R, clockwise) are the President of the European Council Herman Van Rompuy, French President Francois Hollande, British Prime Minister David Cameron, Obama, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Italy's Prime Minister Matteo Renzi and President of the European Commission Jose Manuel Barroso. (Jerry Lampen/Courtesy Reuters). U.S. President Barack Obama (C) participates in a G7 leaders meeting during the Nuclear Security Summit in The Hague March 24, 2014. At the table (L-R, clockwise) are the President of the European Council Herman Van Rompuy, French President Francois Hollande, British Prime Minister David Cameron, Obama, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Italy's Prime Minister Matteo Renzi and President of the European Commission Jose Manuel Barroso. (Jerry Lampen/Courtesy Reuters).

Coauthored by Stewart Patrick and Isabella Bennett, Assistant Director in the International Institutions and Global Governance program.

The G7 is back. Today in Brussels, it meets for the first time since 1998. The group—which includes the United States, France, the UK, Japan, Germany, Italy, and Canada—replaces the G8, after suspending Russia for its annexation of Crimea. Read more »

Keeping Cool in St. Petersburg: Criteria for a Successful G20 Summit

by Stewart M. Patrick
A banner of the G20 Summit hangs at a ship station on the bank of the Neva river in St. Petersburg, September 1, 2013. G20 leaders will meet in St. Petersburg on September 5 and 6, according to the official website (Alexander Demianchuk/Courtesy Reuters). A banner of the G20 Summit hangs at a ship station on the bank of the Neva river in St. Petersburg, September 1, 2013. G20 leaders will meet in St. Petersburg on September 5 and 6, according to the official website (Alexander Demianchuk/Courtesy Reuters).

Call it the summit of “compartmentalizing”. When President Obama and fellow leaders convene in St. Petersburg, their toughest challenge will be to focus on economic recovery while ignoring the elephant in the room: namely, the rift between host Russia and the United States on a possible U.S. military strike to punish Syrian use of chemical weapons. Setting aside diplomatic acrimony—and personal animosity between Obama and Russian President Vladimir Putin—will not be easy. But it is imperative to ensure coordinated multilateral support for global growth and meet past G20 pledges. Read more »

The “Final” Conference on the Arms Trade Treaty

by Stewart M. Patrick
Fake tombstones are placed along the East River by members of the Control Arms Coalition to coincide with a diplomatic conference on the future Arms Trade Treaty in New York July 24, 2012. (Andrew Kelly/Courtesy Reuters) Fake tombstones are placed along the East River by members of the Control Arms Coalition to coincide with a diplomatic conference on the future Arms Trade Treaty in New York July 24, 2012. (Andrew Kelly/Courtesy Reuters)

Coauthored with Andrew Reddie, research associate in the International Institutions and Global Governance program.

The Final Conference on the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) convened by the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) is being presented as a last-ditch attempt to negotiate standards for the international trade in conventional arms. After a twelve-year process involving panels of experts, regional dialogues, and a lengthy planning program, it is showtime for the international community.  Given the well-documented hurdles to achieving consensus among 193 UN member states on international issues, however, the treaty is unlikely to be the “final”  word on the issue. Read more »

Environmental Security Goes Mainstream: Natural Resources and National Interests

by Stewart M. Patrick
The Nile and the Sinai Peninsula are pictured in this handout photo courtesy of Col. Chris Hadfield of the Canadian Space Agency, who is photographing Earth from the International Space Station. (Chris Hadfield/Courtesy Reuters) The Nile and the Sinai Peninsula are pictured in this handout photo courtesy of Col. Chris Hadfield of the Canadian Space Agency, who is photographing Earth from the International Space Station. (Chris Hadfield/Courtesy Reuters)

Not long ago, concerns about environmental degradation were marginal in U.S. national security deliberations. What a difference climate change has made. Foreign policy officials and experts are starting to recognize profound linkages between planetary health, economic prosperity, and international security. These connections were on full view Wednesday, when the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) teamed up with Conservation International (CI) to convene a symposim,“Global Resources, the U.S. Economy, and National Security.” The livestreamed event (available here) assembled intelligence officials, development economists, defense experts, conservation biologists, and corporate executives to discuss the rapid degradation of the earth’s natural endowments and its dire implications for long term prosperity and stability. The provocative conversation ranged far beyond global warming to assess the implications of deforestation and desertification, collapsing fisheries, habitat destruction, and water scarcity.  That these topics were broached at CFR—an august institution traditionally concerned with issues like Middle East peace, nuclear proliferation, or China’s rise—shows how central the subject of sustainability has become for foreign policy professionals. Read more »

John Kerry and the Blurring of the Foreign and Domestic

by Stewart M. Patrick
Secretary of State John Kerry. Photo taken during meetings with his Canadian counterpart, John Baird. (Jason Reed/Courtesy Reuters) Secretary of State John Kerry. Photo taken during meetings with his Canadian counterpart, John Baird. (Jason Reed/Courtesy Reuters)

John Kerry’s first major address as secretary of state, delivered Wednesday at the University of Virginia, was light on specifics and priorities. But it offered a useful glimpse into his mindset as the country’s newest chief diplomat. Two themes permeated the speech: the eroding boundary between what is “foreign” and “domestic” in our global era and the risks to U.S. national security of shortchanging investments in diplomacy and development assistance. Read more »

The G20: Prospects and Challenges for Global Governance

by Stewart M. Patrick
President Vladimir Putin’s presidency of the G20 was a subject of debate during CFR’s discussion of the G20’s “Prospects and Challenges for Global Governance.” It is also likely that the agenda set during the Russian presidency of the G20 will shape its future, at least in the near term. (Grigory Dukor/Courtesy Reuters) President Vladimir Putin’s presidency of the G20 was a subject of debate during CFR’s discussion of the G20’s “Prospects and Challenges for Global Governance.” It is also likely that the agenda set during the Russian presidency of the G20 will shape its future, at least in the near term. (Grigory Dukor/Courtesy Reuters)

Yesterday I got to debate the role of the Group of Twenty (G20) in global governance with some heavyweight thinkers at CFR’s New York offices. The on-the-record discussion, moderated by Anne-Marie Slaughter of Princeton University, included Ian Bremmer, the head of the Eurasia Group and author of the bestselling Every Nation for Itself, and Nicolas Berggruen, author of the new book Intelligent Governance for the 21st Century: A Middle Way between East and West. The wide-ranging conversation explored whether the G20 was up to the task of serving as the premier steering group for the world economy—much less addressing other items on the global agenda. Read more »

A New Year’s Agenda for Russia’s G20 Chairmanship

by Stewart M. Patrick
St Petersburg, Russia will be the site of the next G20 meeting Fireworks light up the sky over the Neva River and Peter and Pawel Fortress in St. Petersburg, the site of the next G20 meeting. (Alexander Demianchuk/ Courtesy Reuters)

The new year is a time of hope. As 2013 dawns, optimists yearn for a period of sustained global economic growth after five years of recession, turbulence, and sluggish recovery. Achieving this scenario will require close policy coordination among governments of the world’s major economies. This places a heavy burden on the Russian Federation, which on December 1 assumed the rotating chairmanship of the Group of Twenty (G20). Read more »

ASEAN’s Future—and Asia’s

by Stewart M. Patrick
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (front row 4th L) poses with ASEAN Secretary General Dr. Surin Pitsuwan (front row 5th L) and other ASEAN leaders during a meeting at the ASEAN Secretariat in Jakarta September 4, 2012. (Courtesy: REUTERS/Jim Watson) U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (front row 4th L) poses with ASEAN Secretary General Dr. Surin Pitsuwan (front row 5th L) and other ASEAN leaders during a meeting at the ASEAN Secretariat in Jakarta September 4, 2012. (Courtesy: REUTERS/Jim Watson)

It’s telling that President Obama’s first foreign trip after winning reelection takes him to Asia, the historical hinge of the twenty-first century. The president will visit three Southeast Asian nations: He’ll mark one hundred and eighty years of diplomatic relations with Thailand, a staunch U.S. ally in the region. He’ll become the first sitting U.S. president to visit Myanmar, a nation emerging from five decades of military rule. And he’ll attend the East Asia Summit in Cambodia, reaffirming the presence of the United States as a Pacific power and a geopolitical counterweight to China. Read more »

Everyone Agrees: Ratify the Law of the Sea

by Stewart M. Patrick
Philippine and U.S. marines during a Philippine-U.S. joint military exercise on the western coast of Philippines April 25, 2012. Thousands of American and Philippine troops participated in a mock assault to retake a small island near disputed areas in the South China Sea, an exercise expected to raise tension with rival claimant China (Romeo Ranoco/Courtesy Reuters). Philippine and U.S. marines during a Philippine-U.S. joint military exercise on the western coast of Philippines April 25, 2012. Thousands of American and Philippine troops participated in a mock assault to retake a small island near disputed areas in the South China Sea, an exercise expected to raise tension with rival claimant China (Romeo Ranoco/Courtesy Reuters).

It is high time the United States joined 162 other states and the European Union in becoming party to the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS)—thirty years after the Reagan administration first negotiated the treaty.

On May 23, the White House dispatched its big guns to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, where Senator Kerry is holding hearings on UNCLOS. The message from Secretary of State Hilary Clinton, Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta and chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Martin Dempsey, was unequivocal: Acceding to the treaty is profoundly in the U.S. national interest. Read more »