Is Europe Turning Its Back on Trump’s America?

February 23, 2019 by HJ Mai
From left, Juri Ratas, Prime Minister of Estonia, Emmanuel Macron, President of France, German Chancellor Angela Merkel of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU), and Alexis Tsipras, Prime Minister of Greece, have a conversation at the beginning of the first work session of the North Atlantic council at the NATO Summit on July 11, 2018 in Brussels, Belgium. (Bernd von Jutrczenka/DPA/Abaca Press/TNS)

The historical alliance between the United States and Western Europe has resulted in an unprecedented period of peace and prosperity on both sides of the Atlantic, but U.S. President Donald Trump’s foreign policy is causing a rift. Tensions at the recent Munich Security Conference highlighted the fragile stage of the trans-Atlantic alliance. The relationship is in dire need of some TLC – tender, love and care – as further alienation could see the largest realignment in the global order since the end of World War II.

In just a little more than two years, Trump has “torn at the roots and hacked at the branches of Western solidarity that his predecessors painstakingly cultivated over seven decades,” Stewart Patrick, director of the International Institutions and Global Governance Program at the Council on Foreign Relations, wrote last year. Since taking office in January 2017, Trump has called out America’s European allies for taking advantage of Washington’s generosity and suggested that U.S. support is conditional.

“If they fulfill their obligation to us, the answer is yes,” Trump said on the campaign trail in 2016 when asked if he would provide military aid to the Baltic countries – all of which are NATO members – in case Russia would attack. The president has also time and time again used his official Twitter account to take shots at European leaders, businesses and policy decisions.

Last year, Trump referred to German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s refugee policy as “insane” and threatened German car manufacturers with punitive import tariffs of up to 20 percent. Berlin responded to these types of attacks through diplomacy, but that changed when Merkel stepped up to the podium at last week’s security conference. The German chancellor used the stage to voice her displeasure with U.S. foreign policy.

The Washington Post reported that Merkel unleashed a “stinging, point-by-point takedown of the administration’s tendency to treat its allies as adversaries.” She also bemoaned that the U.S.-led global order “has collapsed into many tiny parts.”

Ian Bremmer, president of the Eurasia Group, told the Post that the Trump administration fails to understand that international relations are about more than how much a country pays. “It’s about a relationship, trust, how you communicate, shared values,” he said.

The European Parliament stated in a September 2018 report: “The US has historically been the EU’s closest ally, with common interests and values as well as a shared view of the world guiding bilateral relations and joint actions. Yet, following the election of President Donald Trump, divergences in several areas have led to doubts about the durability of transatlantic relations.”

The report pointed to the Iran nuclear deal – from which the U.S. withdrew – trade and burden-sharing within NATO as areas of tension. The Trump administration’s America First approach to foreign policy has created opportunities for other countries, primarily Russia and China, to increase their sphere of influence around the world. Washington’s continued disengagement on the foreign policy front could see nations shift allegiances permanently.

“Not since 1930 has the global trading order been more threatened. No one is coming to the rescue,” Jeremy Adelman, a history professor at Princeton University, wrote in 2016. “The long cycle of integration and relative tolerance forged by U.S. leadership since World War II is now headed in reverse.”

Foreign Affairs

Resolution Supporting Three Seas Initiative Unanimously Passes House
Foreign Affairs
Resolution Supporting Three Seas Initiative Unanimously Passes House
November 24, 2020
by Sean Trambley

WASHINGTON – Last week, a bipartisan resolution introduced by Reps. Adam Kinzinger, R-Ill., and Marcy Kaptur, D-Ohio, supporting the Three Seas Initiative unanimously passed the U.S. House of Representatives. The Three Seas Initiative is a strategic partnership of twelve Central and Eastern European nations with the... Read More

Biden Looks to Rehire Diplomats, Others Fired by Trump to Rebuild State Department
Dep. of State
Biden Looks to Rehire Diplomats, Others Fired by Trump to Rebuild State Department

WASHINGTON — Five days after President Donald Trump took office, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, assistant secretary of State for African Affairs, was summarily fired — the start of what was to become a purge of senior State Department officials and career professionals over nearly four years. Now Thomas-Greenfield is back, leading President-elect Joe Biden's State Department transition... Read More

EU Auditors: Antitrust Probes Too Slow to Curb Tech Giants
European Union
EU Auditors: Antitrust Probes Too Slow to Curb Tech Giants

LONDON (AP) — The EU's efforts to rein in the power of big tech companies such as Google and Facebook through antitrust investigations have taken too long, dulling their effectiveness, a report said Thursday. Legal tools available to the bloc's competition regulators, meanwhile, have not kept... Read More

A Look at Trans-Atlantic Cooperation After the US Election
Foreign Affairs
A Look at Trans-Atlantic Cooperation After the US Election
November 17, 2020
by Kate Michael

WASHINGTON — The recent U.S. election left much for both Americans and European allies to process in terms of the shaping of U.S. politics and global affairs.  President-elect Biden, historically a committed trans-Atlanticist, has reaffirmed his commitment to European allies in early statements post-election.  Yet doubts... Read More

Bipartisan Coalition Leads Charge to Strengthen Partnerships with African Nations
Foreign Affairs
Bipartisan Coalition Leads Charge to Strengthen Partnerships with African Nations
November 16, 2020
by Sean Trambley

WASHINGTON – Reps. Jimmy Panetta, D-Calif., Anthony G. Brown, D-Md., Austin Scott, R-Ga., and Richard Hudson, R-N.C., have introduced the Africa Foreign Relations, International Cooperation, and Assistance Act, H.R. 8186, to enhance security and economic partnerships between the United States and African countries.   The bill requires... Read More

World Watches, Worries and Wags a Finger as US Election Count Drags On
Foreign Affairs
World Watches, Worries and Wags a Finger as US Election Count Drags On

SINGAPORE — Transfixed by a U.S. presidential vote that failed to swiftly yield a clear winner, a watching world responded Wednesday with a mixture of worry, disbelief and, in some quarters, scorn. Many foreign allies weighed in with precisely the kind of counsel that U.S. diplomats and officials for generations have... Read More

News From The Well
scroll top