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Resolved: That, on balance, the rise of Brazil, Russia, India, and China (BRIC) has had a positive i

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 7/19/2009 Category: News
Updated: 8 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,018 times Debate No: 8997
Debate Rounds (3)
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We strongly affirm today's resolution: Resolved: That, on balance, the rise of Brazil, Russia, India, and China (BRIC) has had a positive impact on the United States.

For clarity, the following words are defined. "Has had" is in the past tense; therefore any impacts in this round must already have happened. According to the University of Michigan, the rise of BRIC began in the 21st century, so any impacts in this round must have happened between the year 2000 and now.

The resolution proposes a net beneficial scale, so if the rise of BRIC has more benefits than harms, then the pro team should win this round.

Our first contention is that trade with BRIC has reaped the United States considerable savings. Robert Krol, professor at California State University at Northridge reports that trade "has benefited the United States and its trading partners considerably. The benefits include a higher standard of living, lower prices for consumers, improved efficiency in production and a greater variety of goods." The competition from trade lowers prices for consumers, so importing save money for consumers. According to Subhash Chandra Jain, the United States has have $600 billion from China alone due to its cheap imports. According to the Cato Institute, Americans have saved $300 billion from other countries. The four BRIC countries have made up a grand total of 16% of total U.S. trade in 2008. Clearly, because BRIC saves us over $600 billion, the BRIC countries play a significant role in maintaining economic stability in the US.

Our second contention is that American companies have profited off BRIC demand. Already, emerging markets have made the difference between life and death for some of the most famous names in the industry. GM's survival would be in even greater doubt without the meteoric growth it is seeing in China. Thanks in large part to the BRICs, a record 65% of GM's sales in the first quarter were outside America. Because of sales in BRIC nations, American auto companies have made $36 billion. BRIC has also helped companies like HP. According to Mark Hurd, CEO and president of HP, China is becoming a key market for HP, Hurd said. HP recorded a 100 percent growth in China, making it the group's third-largest market. Overall revenue in the emerging BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India, and China) markets grew 37 percent, Hurd said. BRIC has increased their revenue to $10 billion. It is because of their massive consumer demand that BRIC is already mitigating the global recession. Jim O'Neill, Chief Economist of Goldman Sachs and the person who came up with the BRIC acronym, explains "The Chinese shopper alone is contributing more to global GDP than the infamous US shopper […] There are 2.8 billion of them... and they are ‘poised to spend more.'" He adds, "the BRIC consumer is going to rescue the world."

Our third contention is that outsourcing is actually good for the United States. Ben Bernanke, the head of the Federal Reserve states that outsourcing is not the main cause of job loss. "Outsourcing abroad simply cannot account for much of the recent weakness in the U.S. labor market and does not appear likely to be an important restraint to further recovery in employment." Outsourcing actually creates US jobs. According to MSN Money, because outsourcing saves money for companies, these saving have created 90,000 new jobs in 2003, with more than one in 10 of them in Silicon Valley or elsewhere in California, researchers said. The report predicts that […] outsourcing will create 317,000 jobs -- 34,000 in California. Furthermore, outsourcing dramatically cuts costs for companies. According to MSN Money, outsourcing saves 10% to 20% of costs for both small and big businesses alike. By outsourcing it is predicted that US banks, financial services and insurance companies saved an estimated $300 billion in the past six years owing to IT outsourcing to India. When America saved $6 billion in the last few years, it added 125,000 new jobs in this period thus preventing layoffs. When you look at the big picture, according to economist Martin N. Baily, chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers under President Clinton, on balance, the U.S. economy gains $1.12 to $1.14 for every $1 invested in outsourcing. Catherine Mann of the Institute for International Economics also conservatively estimates that the globalization of IT production has boosted U.S. GDP by $230 billion over the past seven years. It is because outsourcing has given us more jobs, has saved us $300 billion, and boosted our GDP by $230 billion that outsourcing is actually good for the United States.

Due to the positive economic impacts of BRIC, you should vote for the affirmative in today's debate.


First I will create my case and then I will refute my opponents
My first contention is that the rise of bric has been negative in that it has hurt US hegemony. US hegemony has several extremely useful benefits. The primary one is that by having one hegemonic power, peace is better protected. William Wohlforth, professor of government at Dartmouth University, in a 1999 paper entitled "The Stability of a Unipolar World" examines this idea. He concluded" the current unipolarity is prone to peace. The raw power advantage of the United States means that an important source of conflict in previous systems is absent: hegemonic rivalry over leadership of the international system. No other major power is in a position to follow any policy that depends for its success on prevailing against the United States in a war or an extended rivalry." The benefit to such a system are obvious. General stability but safety is essentially guaranteed for the united states. He then elaborates on a fringe benefit " unipolarity minimizes security competition among the other great powers. As the system leader, the United States has the means and motive to maintain key security institutions in order to ease local security conflicts and limit expensive competition among the other major powers." This concept is verified when one looks at india's attempts to develop its nuclear arsenal as it has slowly risen in power or when one looks back to the cold war era when one sole hegemonic power wasn't present and as a result arms races began. The problem is that as I pointed out above the rise of BRIC has led to the beginning of the destruction to the unipolar hegemony that exists. An October 2008 article from the daily star cites Parag Khanna, Director of the Global Governance Initiative and Senior Research Fellow in the American Strategy Program at the New America Foundation as stating "US hegemony is a thing of the past". Examining the rise of nations like china and india he sees the center of power shifting to where in the future it will be completely shifted to the point where china will have the same amount of power as the US. He sees india's influence over the middle east growing as well, developing a great deal of power over there. The problem with this is the reversion from the unipolar sytem outlined above negates its benefits and the rise of BRIC has started the reduction of these benefits already.

Our second contention is that the rise of BRIC has led to continuing economic harms. The majority of these are related the trade deficit that has been developing with China over the last decade or so. According to the US Census Bureau at the beginning of 2008 the trade deficit was 20 billion dollars but by the end of the year it had grown to 23 billion dollars. China's economic success would seem beneficial but the actual effects are very detrimental to US success. Robert H. Smith, Professor at the School of Business at the University of Maryland spoke about the effects of the entire trade deficit of 40 billion dollars of which china is more than half of, He says that to finance it "Americans are borrowing and selling assets at a pace of about $400 billion a year" and furthermore the deficit, "reduces potential annual GDP growth to 3 percent from 4 percent." Which is cutting about 400-600 billion dollars of the GDP. While this is worrisome enough as it is, the effects go beyond that. Robert E. Scott, Ph.D. Economics, University of California, and Director of International Programs for the Economic Policy Institute, estimated that since China entered the WTO in 2001, job losses increased to an average of 353,000 per year due to the increasing trade deficit. In fact even in the years precluding this Chinas economic success was costing the US jobs. He asserts that Between 1997 and 2001, growing US China trade deficits displaced an average of 101,000 US jobs per year. Finally to top things off, the Chinese government is promoting the idea of investing in anything besides US currency. An October 2008 article from Reuters, states the governments official newspaper of china the Peoples Daily, as supporting the move away from US currency. Essentially China's economic success, has cost billions of dollars, millions of jobs, and will cost more of both in the future.

Now onto my opponents case
There are several problems with his first contention, the first of which is that it take numbers and doesn't attribute them in any way to the rise that it defines as from 2000 onwards. The paper from professor Krol(full txt summary analyzes data from a time period from 1960-2007 and specifies in no way from which time period the 300 billion is from making it irrelevant by my opponents own constriction of the debate. The next problem is that $300 billion to $600 billion over the unspecified time period in no way compares to the $200-$300 billion a year the US is losing due to the trade deficit with china alone. Clearly the costs outweigh the unspecified benefits in this scenario. The third and final problem lies within his last benefit, that the BRIC nations have a large role in providing economic stability in the US, at the point of time where our economic health is dependent on another nation's health, we have clearly put ourselves in a very precarious situation.

Moving on to my opponents second contention, there are several key problems with this contention as well. The first one is that all the statistics regarding GM are uncited. Furthermore, he cites 65% of sales as being outside of the country but fails to specify what percentage of this is from BRIC nations. He then cites $10 billion dollars worth of sales increases for HP to BRIC nations, but again in comparison to lowering global stability, hundreds of thousands of jobs lost per year, and hundreds of billions lost each year, 10 billion becomes a fairly insignificant number.
Finally, the third contention talks about the benefits of outsourcing. The first problem with this contention is that it never attribute a single benefits to outsourcing to BRIC nations but rather to outsourcing as a whole. As a result we have no way to evaluate these benefits as relevant to the resolution. The second problem is that even if all of these benefits were directly attributed to BRIC nations, the negatives still far outweigh the benefits. 317k jobs over an unspecified length of time versus 353k jobs lost each year to china as estimated by . Robert E. Scott, Ph.D. Economics, University of California, and Director of International Programs for the Economic Policy Institute. Even looking at the resource my opponent quotes in his first contention, a study by Professor Krol, the findings are that jobs are being lost. According to the study, from"1997–2003, they found that netjob loss from trade averaged 40,000 per month, or 2.4 percent of total employment".

In conclusion, my opponent finds small economic benefits hundreds of billions in total savings over time, small revenue increases, but ignores the larger picture. Hundreds of billions lost because of the trade deficits, hundreds of thousands of jobs leaving every year, general losses in economic stability due to reliance, and loss of political stability via a loss of hegemony.
Debate Round No. 1


As a brief roadmap, I will refute my opponent's case, defend my own, and then prove that the benefits of BRIC outweigh the harms. (please skip to bottom to view condensed summary of this speech in last paragraph)

My opponent argues in his first contention that the rise of BRIC harms U.S. hegemony. He cites an old 1999 paper and believes that hegemony guarantees safety and that BRIC's rise harms it. However, his central assumption is that this is a zero-sum game: their rise= our fall. Unfortunately, he is misportraying our relationship with BRIC as an antagonistic relationship (which makes their rise bad), rather than a mutualistic one, where we all benefit and their rise is good. The most important thing that BRIC gives us is the safety of the American people. Let's look at how India guarantees this security. The United States and India share a common enemy: Al-Quaeda. On June 2005, the U.S. and India signed the "New Framework for the U.S.-India Defense Relationship," which advances bilateral cooperation and information sharing on such areas of common concern as bioterrorism, aviation security, advances in biometrics, cyber-security and terrorism, WMD terrorism, and terrorist financing. We've also carried out counterinsurgency operations with Indian soldiers. In summary, we've cooperated with India to quash a dangerous threat to our citizens: terrorism. Both our countries are democratic nations that believe in the same ideals, and a rising India can only mean a safer United States, being our staunch ally. The only impact that my opponent stated is that India has "a growing influence in Middle East." I'll put a turn on this: you've made an argument for me! Thank you for stating this, as currently, the U.S. enjoys India's friendship with Iran as a possible method to halt Iran's nuclear program! Its influence in the Middle East is a stabilizing one. My arguments here outweigh his case, as I am guaranteeing the safety of you: the American citizen. Therefore, because our relationship with BRIC is mutualistic, a multipolar world with BRIC rising will only make the United States a safer place. (Citation: CRS Report for Congress (

My opponent argues in his second contention that our trade deficit with BRIC leads to the loss of billions of dollars from our economy and millions of jobs.

This contention is a terrible misunderstanding of the impact of a trade deficit on a country. According to the official definition of a trade deficit, all it means is that we buy more than we sell, or in other words: "an excess of imports over exports" ( Buying more than we sell means nothing. My opponent has completely misunderstood a trade deficit for a budget deficit, where we actually owe them money. This is NOT the case. In fact, according to Walter E. Williams in his paper "Trade Deficit: Good or Bad?" we ran a trade surplus during the Great Depression! ( A trade deficit is not an accurate measure of our GDP according to Williams. In fact, according to Daniel T. Griswold of the reputed Cato Institute, a trade deficit is actually good for our economy. America's economy has actually performed better during years of deficits, statistically speaking. On average, real GDP averages at 3.2%/year during deficits rather than 2.3%/year with low deficits. "Without a trade deficit, Americans could not import the capital we need to finance our rising level of investment in plants and new equipment, including the latest computer technology. " Now to refute his job argument. He proposes that the trade deficit causes job loss, but I can easily outweigh it. When you look at the big picture, according to economist Charles Schultze, Chairman of the CEA under President Carter, this loss of thousands of jobs, he cites 353,000, is MINISCULE compared to our working population of 150 million. This doesn't even matter! To add credibility behind my statement, even Ben Bernanke, the Head of the Federal Reserve, has stated that job losses due to outsourcing and to other countries is miniscule compared to the real cause: corporate corruption and our financial meltdown. It is common knowledge that companies are laying off and cutting costs because people have stopped buying due to our recession. It is not BRIC causing this, so that impact is miniscule. Now to make sure that you cannot win the economic argument, I will outweigh you once more. According to Vice Chairman Jim Saxton of Joint Economic Committee of the U.S. Congress, what we ignore a lot is how much we insource from these countries. As these countries rise, they insource more. From 1988 to 2002, investment in America grew by a whopping 326%. According to his study, we insource a whopping 6.8 million jobs in total, with a majority from India and China, according to the International Monetary Fund with my dad and his company being a second proof of my argument! We even get more high paying jobs from them than the average job here, as wages from insourced jobs are 30% higher, employing more of our people and giving them higher wages too. Also according to the Organization for International Investment, the rate of insourcing is growing by 82% per year, which is higher than the rate of outsourcing, which is only 23%, and these jobs are more high paying. In summary, first, my opponent's 353,000 jobs impact is miniscule in the first place. Second, we insource more jobs and higher-paying ones than we lose. Third, the loss of an insignificant amount of manufacturing jobs doesn't matter in the switch to a service economy with higher paying jobs. So I have refuted him in three possible ways.

Now, it's time to defend my case.

C1-My opponent misread my case and believed I cited Robert Krol. Unfortunately, I cited a more credible statistic from Morgan Stanley (in Jain's book), which says that we save $600 billion from China ALONE in the past decade, unlike what he believed to be an indefinite time period. And its $900 billion from all the BRICs in total. I should win right now on this massive economic impact alone, as he said that we only lose $400 billion. (Morgan Stanley -
C2- His only response to my argument about how it helps our companies is by cross-applying his already refuted 2nd contention, which I refuted by outweighing with my $2.7 trillion statistic, by saying that his job losses are insignificant, and by stating that we gain more jobs than we lose from BRIC. And the car company statistic is calculated by multiplying vehicles sold*average price of vehicle.
C3- His response is that we lose more jobs. I've already refuted this 3 times, as #1-job loss is insignificant, #2-we get more jobs than we lose, and #3-tiny job losses don't matter in a switch to a service economy.

Now, to show you why the affirmative should win this debate right now. My benefits outweigh his harms. $600 billion saved for American consumers, HP gaining $10 billion, American automakers make $36 billion off BRIC, we get jobs off BRIC, and perhaps most importantly, BRIC makes America a safer place by helping us with counterterrorism, disease-prevention, loaning us $ when we need it, and by helping us out in the drug war. I have the impacts of safety and economic benefits on my side. Currently, my opponent only has U.S. loses political power (nothing compared to my safety arg.) and economic detriments. I've outweighed his detriments and have proved why multipolarity protects the United States by explaining how BRIC nations protect the U.S. I've also cited MUCH more statistics than he has and I've also given much bigger and more heavily cited responses. Because my benefits outweigh his harms, you should vote for the affirmative in this debate.


My opponent attacks my first point by saying that my evidence is outdated and that BRIC has helped us in geopolitcal affairs and specifically cites india helping us in the war against terror. Look then to Russia giving Iran and Syria both known supporters of hezbollah arms( One also can look to Russia threatening to point target missile defense systems of the US( China has consistently threatened our ally taiwan. The point here is that because of their rise, the BRIC nationas have gained the power to disregard stability and US interests and threaten to attack us and our allies, and give weapons too those who support terrorists. Given his one example of india, i clearly outweigh.

He attacks my second point by saying i confused a trade deficit and budget deficit. I didnt. "In 2009 the trade deficit is slicing $400 billion to $600 billion off GDP, and longer term, it reduces potential annual GDP growth to 3 percent from 4 percent." ( He says there are times where we've grown under a deficit, that is true but he didnt prove that the deficit caused this growth. Furthermore, a deficit can be good as he states, but they are good to a point, one that china's rise has pushed us far beyond. He then moves on to give a number of 6 million jobs insourced, But fails to specify when these jobs where created as he has limited the round to past 2000. This is a total figure rather than a yearly figure, hence it becomes somewhat less useful for this round.

Now onto my opponents case. Even if i misunderstood him 9900 billions total pales in comparison to 200-300 billion a year from just china alone as this this is what the trade deficit is costing(as i clarified again above, this is the trade deficit)

c2-where did you mention 2.7 trillion. I've already covered your jobs comments, 343k jobs lost per year to just china, versus 6 million gained over some unspecified period of time so its non resolutional.

In summation my opponents key points are that we have gained 6 millions jobs total and that we have gained 900 billion total. compare this to hundred of thousands of jobs lost each year, hundreds of billions lost each year, and security threats to both the US and its allies and it becomes clear what the rise oof the BRIC nations net impact has been.
note, there are tons of typos because i submitted this with thirty seconds left and didnt have time to spell check
Debate Round No. 2


There are two central issues in this round: safety and economy. The pro is winning both.

Safety: My opponent conceded that India helps ensure the safety of Americans through aiding its counterterrorism, so now I will provide examples as to how the other three BRIC countries help us.

->But first why don't we closely examine those links he put up. If we read his article closely, it explicitly states that there is no evidence that Hezbollah wields Russian weapons: "Lavrov responded by saying that Russia has no knowledge of Hezbollah possessing Russian weapons, and that if Israel has any information on the topic, Russia would be happy to look into it." Despite its bad title, the article changes its tone: "Israel and Russia have some common goals, like fighting terrorism." It concludes: "Moscow was Syria's strongest backer in its struggle with Israel during the Communist era, but Russia has more recently been improving ties with Israel. Russia advised Syria not seek action against Israel at the United Nations Security Council after the Israeli raid on its territory." Thus, his own evidence helps me! With Russia's rise, they are becoming friendlier with our allies rather than resorting to futile proxy war policies and funneling weapons. About the other link, Putin's threats are much more bark than bite, and with their rise, our relations have improved since the Cold War ( China's threats to Taiwan are also ancient and unlikely to matter at all in the near future. Chino-Taiwanese relations are even improving ( I'll show you how China, Russia, and Brazil aid U.S. safety to put this argument into the bag.

->Let's look at how China helps us. Because China trades with us a lot, a major threat to us is terrorists smuggling a nuclear weapon into the U.S. through our trade ports via our most important and biggest trading partner: China. So, we signed the Container Security Initiative with them, which prevents terrorists from the smuggling of WMDs as U.S. costoms officials are now allowed and aided in checking the 3 million containers leaving China. Also, Chinese lab workers have developed cures to pathogens that have saved Americans lives. So they are helping us guarantee what matters the most: citizen safety.

->India and China save U.S. lives, so let's look at Russia. Russia, a country with a powerful military, is a crucial ally in our war on terror. We signed with them the "Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism." Without Russia's participation, we wouldn't have gotten over 50 important countries to sign the deal. This is keeping U.S. lives safe from the risk of radiological attacks. Because they have their own Chechenyan terrorists, Russia empathizes with the U.S. when it comes to the war on terror, and is a powerful ally that keeps our citizens safe. (Nina Hachigan, Stanford University,
In summary, we can see that when it comes to the issues that really matter, like the safety of our citizens, BRIC is our stauch ally. Although we may disagree on many issues and have political bickering, what really matters is that we are all allies that wish to defeat the threats that harm our countries: like terrorism and disease. The U.S. cannot deal with these threats by itself, unlike what my opponent believes. Wolfgang Nowak, Spokesman of the Executive Board of the Alfred Herrhausen Society, puts this idea perfectly: "We are living in an era without a single, dominant world power. The globe is beset by crises—climate change, resource scarcity, food and financial crises, nuclear proliferation, and failing states. No one country can devise solutions to address these kinds of problems. Even the United Nations is not up to the task. Indeed, as British Prime Minister Gordon Brown admitted at the Progressive Governance Conference in April in London, the international organizations founded in the wake of World War II no longer meet today's needs." (http://www.ip...) According to Fareed Zakaria, the rising influence of the BRICs can help us. In other words, this multipolarity is good, not bad, as the BRICs are assuring us the most important thing: the safety of our citizens. ( Also, I must add that our primacy and a false belief in our own power ("oh we'll win this war, we're the best") has gotten us into the war in Iraq and has led to 4000 American people dying. All my opponent guarantees you is the deaths of 4000 American people due to a unipolar world blinding America into arrogance, while I guarantee you a stable multipolar world, where we have strong allies like the BRICs to keep you, the average American, safe from harm.


->My economic impacts outweigh his economic harms. He cited 400 billion dollars lost because of a trade deficit. According to my previous analysis, this is bogus, but even if it isn't, American consumers save $900 billion off cheap imports from BRIC, which according to the multiplier effect, an economics formula, translates to a $2.7 trillion increase in GDP over this last decade. (Because savings for consumers translates to economic growth). If you apply the multiplier effect, an economics formula, $900 billion in consumer savings begets a $2.7 GDP increase (according to an economist major, my math is right). This impact FAR outweighs his tiny $400 billion impact. He may believe that he refuted this argument, but his response is entirely inadequate, as if he had looked more closely at my case, he would have realized that I did NOT get my statistic from Mr. Krol, I got it from Subhash Chandra Jain's book, which cited a credible statistic from Morgan Stanley which says that China ALONE, saves American consumers $600 billion dollars. Contrary to his response, this is over the past decade, which is what I defined as "the rise of BRIC." With the benefits of my 1st contention, I can quite easily outweigh his tiny benefits in his 2nd contention. Here's where I got my Morgan Stanley statistic (this link is not Jain's, but is even more credible) -> I should win this round hands-down based on this statistic.
He again believes that a significant amount of jobs were lost. I should remind him of my previous responses to his assertions, which he had failed to address in his previous speech. According to economist Charles Schultze, Chairman of the CEA under President Carter, this loss of thousands of jobs, he cites 353,000, is MINISCULE compared to our working population of 150 million. This doesn't even matter! To add credibility behind my statement, even Ben Bernanke, the Head of the Federal Reserve, has stated that job losses due to outsourcing and to other countries is miniscule compared to the real cause: corporate corruption and our financial meltdown. It is common knowledge that companies are laying off and cutting costs because people have stopped buying due to our recession. It is not BRIC causing this, so your impact is miniscule. Thus, my opponent's 353,000 jobs impact is miniscule in the first place, and the loss of an insignificant amount of manufacturing jobs doesn't matter in the switch to a service economy with higher paying jobs. So I have outweighed his tiny impact and I urge my opponent not to make any new arguments or statistics, as it's unfair because I cannot respond to it.

In conclusion, on a net benefits scale, the pro should win. BRIC gives us a $2.7 trillion GDP increase and makes America a safer place by helping us with counterterrorism and disease-prevention. I have the impacts of safety and economic benefits on my side, outweighing my opponent.


dominasian forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
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