Wednesday July 12, 2017
Alliances between nations are military. Without being military, they would be nothing at all. Trade agreements don’t require alliances. World War I wouldn’t have occurred if there had not been alliances — it was built upon alliances. It was not built on trade agreements. It wasn't even built on trading-blocs.
In fact, as the WTO (World Trade Organization) has said:
In the two decades prior to World War I, a number of tariff wars broke out, usually provoked by the establishment of a new, more protectionist tariff, or in the course of renegotiation of bilateral treaties. After the expiry of a treaty, tariffs were often raised temporarily as a means of improving negotiating leverage. … Despite the widespread increase of protectionist measures before World War I in continental Europe, the United States, Argentina and other countries, world trade continued to expand rapidly.World War III, too — a nuclear war — could be built upon alliances, which are now even more complex and unpredictable than ever. But that’s not the only danger.
It goes on to observe: "Even though the contention that trade and peace dovetail is still very present today, it is not uncontested on theoretical and empirical grounds. … Empirical evidence appears to generally support the idea that increasing bilateral trade reduces the risk of bilateral conflicts. But studies can be found that support either side of the argument, predicting both a negative and positive relationship between trade and war."