9 June 2018 - 13:40
Europe and U.S.

TEHRAN, Jun. 09 (MNA) – Lately, many of the media, news sources, and even European politicians have emphasized that the time has come for putting an end to the United States' unilateral policies in the international system.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel recently stated that Europe can no longer rely on the United States to protect it. For the past few days, the French officials have taken a seemingly determined stance against the United States.

French finance minister Bruno Le Maire has criticized the Trump government and the United States politicians in the strongest possible terms, calling for a European economic separation from Washington. "Unjustified, unjustifiable and dangerous" – these are the terms that France's finance minister has said to identify the tariffs on steel and aluminum the US has planned for its closest allies.

"We cannot understand being hit by American tariffs. We are close allies to the United States. And we cannot understand that decision." Le Maire then continued: "I think that Trump's administration has to be aware that the signal that has been given by the tariffs on the EU is a very negative and very aggressive one. So we do not have any other choice but to respond to Trump's decision. So we will take all necessary measures to protect our industry. We will also introduce an action at the WTO. We deeply regret the fact that we are obliged to do so. But we do not have any other choice."

Has the US-EU Trade War Already Started?

At this moment, the key question is whether the "trade war" between Washington and the European Union has begun. Regarding Trump's unilateral and restrictive policies on the international trade, the answer seems to be determining. Indeed, are we about to see the formation of two different economic fronts in the West? Should the European troika be considered as a political entity apart from the United States? Well, the answer to these questions is not positive!

Although the withdrawal of the United States from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), and beyond that, imposing tariffs on steel and aluminum imported by the EU member states have created gaps between Washington and Europe, and even strengthened the idea of a "bypassing Trump and the US" among European citizens, but European politicians are trying to direct the existing dissatisfaction among their people to a certain point. This "point" is the "peaceful economic coexistence of Europe and America"! The truth is that middle-right activists and Social-Democrats in Europe are driving the system towards being dependent on the United States, thus bypassing US is never going to happen under such circumstances, no matter what the desire of the European citizens will be. One of the main missions of Macron and Merkel at the current time is to prevent the deepening of the gaps created between the United States and Europe.

In an article published by Guardian, Bruno Tertrais writes: "Trump’s decision (on pulling out of the JCPOA)is not only extraordinarily brutal, it affects a project whose origins are found in a European initiative taken in the autumn of 2003, when the UK, France and Germany sent their foreign ministers to Tehran for talks… It took 12 years of international diplomacy, in which Europe played an important role, to reach the nuclear deal that Trump has now decided to tear up."

Then he adds: "So is it time for Europe to seek a divorce from the US? Well, not quite. For several reasons, we should refrain from entering into confrontation. Europe may be the largest trade bloc in the world, but in truth it does not have the capacity to tackle 21st-century challenges on its own, and it would have even less capacity to do so if its relationship with the US came fully apart. …Certainly, US -Europe relations are now entering troubled, uncharted waters. But this could be a phase. Trump will be there for another three or seven years. But by historical standards, that’s a short period of time…. We need to think about the future."

European Authorities' Terrible Mistake

At first glance, it may seem logical for European leaders to argue with the United States about recent economic and political conflicts! They believe that the presence of a "Democrat" in the White House and even the conquest of the US Congress by Trump's opponents and the containment of his policies by the House of Representatives and the Senate will increase the solidarity between the United States and Europe. And this is what will happen sooner or later!

It seems that the European leaders are making a terrible mistake in terms of "separating Trump from the American political structure"! A mistake that could lead to the collapse of the European Union in the future. In this case, the European Union will no longer have power and even a defined entity in 2020 or in 2024 to witness the return of the United States towards Europe as its "key Ally"! The fact is that many of the measures taken by Trump against the European Union, and his attempts to enforce economic protectionist policies against Europe have been supported by the ruling structure in the United States. In this equation, many traditional Republicans and even Democrats agree with the US President's policies in confrontation with the United Europe.

Beyond that, Trump and his companions are now seeking a "breakdown of Europe" and returning to the time before the formation of the United Europe. That's why Trump called the Brexit "a great thing", and has even encouraged other European countries to model the UK in this regard. Trump has started a perfectly organized confrontation with the European Union and the Eurozone. In this dangerous game, the silence and accompaniment of those like the German Chancellor and the French President will lead to nothing but the fall of the European Union. With no doubt, the next president of the United States will happily welcome a "weakened Europe"! And In this equation, there's basically no difference between Democrats and Republicans!

At this time, Merkel and Macron are hardly trying to prevent the intensification of the trade war with the United States. They are even willing to sacrifice the JCPOA in order to achieve this short-term goal. But in the long run, they can't stand against the political-economic blows of the White House on the weakened body of the European Union; something that the French President and the German Chancellor have not yet understood.

MNA/TT

News Code 134648

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