Building a New World Order: The Brics and the De-dollarization Movement

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The Brics, which include Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa, are rapidly growing in power and influence as a de-dollarization movement and an adversary of the United States. On January 1st, the Brics welcomed new members, Iran, the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Ethiopia, and Egypt, ushering in a new chapter for the group and the global political landscape. With the addition of these nations, the Brics now represent 43% of the global population and 27% of the GDP.

While the expansion of the Brics is seen as a significant development, it has also faced some challenges. Argentina recently resigned from the organization, citing ideological differences, particularly with regard to concerns over communism. Additionally, Brazil initially opposed the expansion due to fears of diminished authority but ultimately recognized the benefits of having its South American ally present. The expansion also serves as a counterbalance to China’s growing leadership in the region.

Each member nation has its own reasons for wanting to see the Brics grow. For some, like Brazil and India, the goal is to challenge US hegemony and reduce dependency on the US dollar. Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva has been particularly vocal in advocating for de-dollarization, emphasizing the need for a world with more currency options besides the dollar. Brazil’s largest trading partner is China, and increasing trade in Chinese yuan would lower transaction costs and open up opportunities for Brazilian businesses in the Chinese financial sector.

In addition to economic motivations, the growth of the Brics also translates into increased bargaining power on the global stage. By promoting a multipolar world, where no single currency dominates, countries like India and Brazil aim to assert their influence without imposing their currencies as hegemonic. This shift in power dynamics has raised concerns for the United States, which holds significant control over the global financial system through its dollar dominance and majority ownership in the International Monetary Fund.

The question of whether the Brics should adopt a unified currency, such as the yuan, has also been a topic of debate. Former Brazilian President Lula advocated for a unified currency for international commerce, but experts believe that implementing such a system would be challenging due to the need for coordination among nations and convergence of economic policies. The yuan, recognized by the IMF since 2016, is seen as a more likely focal point for the Brics, given its importance as a common trade partner among the member countries.

However, challenges remain in persuading economic actors to accept the yuan as a payment method and in overcoming political and economic differences between the Brics nations. While the growth of the Brics represents a shift towards a multipolar order and de-dollarization, some experts argue that challenging the dominance of the dollar would require a much larger force, similar to the historical events that led to the ascent of the pound sterling and the dollar.

In conclusion, the Brics are becoming a powerful force in the global political arena, fueled by their efforts towards de-dollarization and countering US hegemony. The expansion of the group to include new members further strengthens their influence. However, challenges remain in implementing a unified currency and overcoming political and economic differences. The rise of the Brics presents a new multipolar order, but challenging the dominance of the dollar will require a broader global transformation.