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The Future of U.S. Dominance

The U.S. has taken many actions that have attributed to it being considered a superpower nation. These include, among other things, a billion-dollar economy, a strong and vast military system, and a large international influence. A “superpower” is defined by Britannica.com as “a state that possesses military or economic might, or both, and general influence vastly superior to that of other states” (1). Britain was a superpower before World War II—a devastating event not only to the U.K., but to the entire continent of Europe. This is when the U.S. snatched the title as the ultimate superpower in the world, and rapidly grew in its economy, military, and influence, leading us to where we are today.
Despite the intense, modern-day power of the U.S., many people have questioned its status as a superpower, and how that will change in the future. Some have even argued that there are other countries on the rise to steal this title from the U.S., notably China and India. China is the closest competitor for the title. As of 2017, China held a 12.24 trillion USD gross domestic product (GDP), while India held a 2.5 trillion USD GDP. Meanwhile, the U.S. holds a 19.4 trillion GDP. Yes, China appears to be close behind, but they also continue to struggle with economic reforms and growth. Therefore, it is argued that it will not pass the U.S. in its power, at least not soon and not until it improves its own economic inefficiencies.
In a Forbes article written by Sara Hsu, the inefficiencies that are currently holding China back from growth in global power is well-articulated and examined. She explains the ways in which “[China’s] financial sector remains far less developed than that of the Western world” and “China’s financial sector also fails to provide investors with consistently profitable real returns” (2). Things of this nature are what are currently holding the nation back, and until these are improved upon, the nation will not surpass the United States, and, most likely, will just be at the same level of power as the U.S.
To take a step away from the idea that there will be a country that will surpass the U.S., a lot of people have created discussion on the declining power of the U.S. For example, as explored in a New Republic article by Ali Wyne, people are concerned with America’s leverage in the Asia-Pacific due to our withdrawal from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (3). This is also another reason why people believe China’s power will grow; this withdrawal has allowed China to gain further traction in the region. The U.S. continues to change its stance in global affairs, which has left many international relationships unsteady.
Personally, I believe that the U.S. will always have power whether that be economically or militarily. It is U.S. influence on other nations that is threatening to decline. This isn’t difficult to imagine, especially since I believe that our president is overlooking important long-term factors in the success of the nation; such as the environment and social justices/injustices in our country. I believe that something needs to be done about the decline of U.S. influence on international relationships. This decline of U.S. influence, partnership, and international participation has not gone unnoticed by other world politicians and leaders; for example, German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel stated, “the most important changes affecting our Western world and, indeed, the world as a whole” stem from “the United States’ current withdrawal under Trump from its role as a reliable guarantor of Western-influenced multilateralism” (4). President Trump’s lack of interaction with foreign nations is causing many countries to shift their partnership away from the U.S., and latch onto a different counterpart.
With all this being said, we need to address the U.S. decline in influence, especially if we want to stay a superpower and maintain our reputation as a world leader.
(1) https://www.britannica.com/topic/superpower
(2) https://www.forbes.com/sites/sarahsu/2017/02/02/why-china-wont-replace-the-u-s-as-the-worlds-superpower/#449ca6e0234d
(3) https://newrepublic.com/article/149008/america-choosing-decline
(4) https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/global-opinions/the-decline-of-us-influence-is-the-great-global-story-of-our-times/2017/12/28/bfe48262-ebf6-11e7-9f92-10a2203f6c8d_story.html?utm_term=.68f868e7cdfb

About the Contributor
Mikayla Mackay, Arts & Lifestyle Editor