The United States' traditional foreign policy of using its strong currency, the dollar, as a tool to threaten countries has now finally been revealed and is now being criticized in the international community.
Such an uprising was indeed inevitable, as the current U.S. administration led by Donald Trump, has been following this policy hawkishly in the eyes of the world.
As Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said, Washington uses the U.S. dollar to punish other countries. "[the] dollar is the international exchange and finance system. Is that right? Yes, it is. Everyone accepted it. We lived according to this rule for years and hoped the U.S., as the main dollar owner, [would] fulfill its responsibilities." Lavrov said during a TV program. While expressing the United States' dollar strategy in its foreign policy, the Russian minister added that "They [the U.S.] can suddenly stop the services of any kind of bank operating with the dollar. They do this not only against the country that they want to punish, but also against anyone having relations with that country."
We, as the Turkish people, recently once again experienced how right the Russian minister was. For instance, our country was attacked by the U.S. through the detention of the Turkish banker Hakan Atilla following the controversial Zarrab case opened by the U.S. – in which the Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ) prosecutors played the biggest role – regarding the alleged violation of the embargo on Iran.
A similar scenario is now taking place with the Trump team. Control of sanctions to be imposed by the Trump administration against Iran will be made by looking at dollar transactions. Is it a coincidence that many countries including Turkey, Russia, South Africa, Argentina and Iran are struggling to deal with a dollar crisis? I do not think it is, because of the United States' economic power.
To share a very short history of the dollar, the Bank of North America in Philadelphia is described as the country's first national bank, founded to fund American independence, gained from Britain in 1781. The dollar was accepted as U.S. national currency in 1785 and the first banknotes started being circulated in 1861. In order to finance the Civil War, the green dollars were then monetized. Founded in 1913, the Federal Reserve Bank legally put the words "In God We Trust" on the dollar in 1955.
It will likely be a very long time until world economies can be independent from the dollar. Therefore, foreign trade, not with the dollar, but in local currencies, as our countries plan to do, may be good start and rational attempt in the fight against the dollar's power.
Who knows, maybe one day the world can find a chance to protect itself from the dollar's hegemony?