A message to BRICS from the U.S. -“BRICS it on”

Global Perspective


August 29, 2023

Executive Summary

We agree with Jim O’Neill, the economist who coined the term BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India, China – South Africa was added later), “the BRICS never achieved anything since they started meeting 15 years ago, and the so-called common currency idea for trading is “ridiculous”.

Contrary to popular belief, the BRICS is not an organization to change the world order. The group has achieved little of substance in its 15-year history, with its annual summits delivering the same messages that: 1) the developed world needs to change and 2) the U.S. dollar’s (USD) global dominance should end.

Furthermore, its declaration document provides evidence that the group’s primary interest is favorable funding from institutions such as the International Monetary Fund (IMF), or climate-change related grants. The only substantive step at the recent 15th Summit was expanding the BRICS to six other nations. And expectations for next year’s 16th  Summit in Russia are low.

In short, we have a message from the U.S. to the BRICS countries, “BRICS it on”.

What happened

The BRICS nations, Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa met for the 15th BRICS summit in Sandton, South Africa.

The BRICS were represented by three presidents, a prime minister, and Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov represented Russia as President Vladimir Putin did not attend.

As in other summits, many other nations attended the Summit as non-member counties. 

Argentina, Egypt, Ethiopia, Iran, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates have been invited to join the bloc with a January 1, 2024, effective date.

This year’s theme was "BRICS and Africa: Partnership for Mutually Accelerated Growth, Sustainable Development, and Inclusive Multilateralism“. According to the joint declaration, the Summit’s goal was “strengthening the framework of mutually beneficial BRICS cooperation under the three pillars of political and security, economic and financial, and cultural and people-to-people cooperation”.

Member countries reiterated the importance of human rights and highlighted their respect for democracy and fundamental freedom. They also reaffirmed the importance of the G20’s dominant role as the premier multilateral forum in the field of international economic and financial cooperation.

Member countries supported a comprehensive reform of the United Nations (UN), including its Security Council to increase representation of developing countries. Food security, fair and market oriented agricultural systems also were promoted during the summit.

Surprisingly, member countries showed continued support for the IMF if the Fund’s quotas are adjusted in favor of emerging and developing countries. Contrary to the headline media coverage, there were no discussions for the creation of a common currency. 

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