The Position Paper “The Strategic Relations Between Italy and The United States. Past, Present and Future of an Alliance Offering Mutual Benefits” will be presented during today’s “Country Focus USA” panel.
The panelists are Michael R. Pompeo (70th U.S. Secretary of State), Lindsey Graham (U.S. Senator from South Carolina), and Kathleen Kennedy Townsend (Chair of the Robert Kennedy Memorial and former LT Governor of Maryland). Maurizio Molinari (Editor in Chief, La Repubblica) will moderate the panel.
The historical foundations of Italy and the United States’ strategic partnership are strong and extensive. On the one hand, Italy helped shape the American culture, and Italian-Americans continue to be the fourth-largest ethnic group of European descent in the US. On the other, thanks to its position as a point of access to Africa and its influence in the Balkans, Italy played a strategic role as a “pillar of the West” throughout the post-World War II reconstruction phase, with the United States playing a leading role.
The United States is currently Italy’s third-largest trading partner outside of Europe, with a positive trade balance in Italy’s favor of $39.3 billion in 2021 and a steady growth curve during the previous three decades. Similarly, Italy is the no. 14 trading partner of the United States worldwide and no. 2 on a European level, second only to Germany.
A closer alliance between Italy and the United States could have advantages for both countries in a variety of geostrategic areas, especially given the changing scenarios and changes in the global balance of power. The first includes stabilizing the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), regions that have seen a significant rise in instability, and bolstering NATO’s southern flank.
Italy is also in a great position to keep an eye on commerce entering and leaving the Indo-Pacific region through the Suez Canal because it is a key hub for the Mediterranean.
Last but not least, a new value chain, an alternative to the Far East, and the potential for Africa to serve as the “next factory of the future” might both benefit from Italy acting as a stabilizing force for the United States in Northern Africa.