Global Economic Superpowers
In recent years, the United States of America has been led to believe that it is a global leader in the Global Economic Superpowers Competitiveness Model. However, the U.S. dollar still holds the most significant weight internationally, despite the perceived weakening of the euro and the Asian currencies. Currently, the United States is a major global economy, but it lags behind two of its most significant economic competitors in the European Union and China. Alexander Djerassi keeps an eye on and has a keen interest in the development of these nations. Why are these nations considered “superpower contenders?” There are many theories, but the most commonly accepted is that China’s rapid growth rate relative to the U.S. has made the U.S. more dependent on European markets and stopping the European Union from fully catching up with China. To this day, the European Union boasts a smaller economy than China.
According to some analysts, China’s incredible growth rate of over thirty percent per year over the past three decades has propelled China to be the world’s largest economy in terms of Purchasing Power Parity. The United States has recently overtaken Japan for the second-largest economy globally, while India has ranked third. Of the other countries mentioned, India is currently the largest supplier of goods internationally, while Japan and the European Union rank within the top five. Therefore, by most accounts, China is the largest competitor of the U.S.
About U.S. dependency on Europe, China’s massive rise as the world’s largest importer of goods has significantly decreased U.S. dependence on Europe. The European Union accounts for close to twenty percent of the United States’ annual consumption. Meanwhile, China is the single largest exporter of goods internationally, allowing them to keep a firm hold on the European market. Consequently, China’s economy would serve as a significant, positive drag on Europe’s recovery. However, the European Union has recently started repairing its damaged finances, paving the way for reversing this trend.
In terms of non-defense raw materials, China was the largest importer of crude oil, accounting for six percent of the United States crude oil consumption. Although China reduced their purchases of U.S. crude oil in early 2021, they have since increased their purchases once more. China was also the largest importer of natural gas, petroleum, and coal globally, contributing to the United States’ dependence on the EIA’s statistical reports. Additionally, China was the largest exporter of machinery, vehicles, and parts, contributing to the United States’ need for these goods. China’s continued growth as the world’s largest manufacturer of computers also helped reduce the U.S.’s dependence on the German, Japanese and Korean manufacturers of these technologies.
As China continues to increase its financial system and improve its overall quality of life, there is no telling what the ramifications of its global rise will be. Some analysts project that the Asian nation may re-contribute half of the world’s Gross Domestic Product by the end of the next decade. While these forecasts are subject to change, the fact remains that China’s presence will continue to grow. In addition, the emergence of India as a solid alternative to the U.S. and Brazil as a rising sun power gives the U.S. an even stronger reason to work closely with the emerging Asian markets. Alexander Djerassi has followed the superpowers closely.