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Comments on future US Foreign and Trade Policies

Written by Jan Bäverström,

This is an overview of initial remarks on transatlantic relations, US-Asia (TPP) and US-Mexico relations following the US elections. It also includes EU leaders’ first reactions to the outcome of the 2016 US presidential elections.

US comments on US Foreign and Trade policies

Comments on future US Foreign and Trade Policies

© mars58 / Fotolia

Will Foreign Aid get cut on Trump’s chopping block : USAID is in the dark on Trump’s plans, but Republicans in Congress could step up to defend foreign aid / Foreign Policy’s David Francis, John Hudson, and Dan De Luce report, 23 November 2016

Free trade under fire / Michael Auslin, National Post & American Enterprise Institute, 21 November 2016
‘Providing a robust, rules-based order that privileges ever greater exchange in Asia is the best way to ensure that illiberal elements do not become dominant in either political or economic relations. This is not to ignore real concerns about the short- and medium-term effects of free trade. Ensuring continued trade liberalization unquestionably benefits consumers, yet governments in America and abroad have done too little to encourage entrepreneurialism and help workers move into new roles as old markets dry up.’ An Open Letter To Donald Trump On Foreign Policy / by Richard A. Epstein, Hoover Institution, 14 November 2016
‘Ruling out the use of ground forces led Obama to make serious errors in judgments. His mistakes in office have left you with two major deficits.’

Our allies are afraid. Here’s how Trump can reassure them / By Michael McFaul, Washington Post, 17 November 2016
‘Unlike some other foreign policy rethinks, signaling support for our alliances would not alienate Trump’s core electoral constituencies. On the contrary, public opinion polls show deep support for our alliances among the American people. And a reset with our allies would be cheap, requiring mostly rhetorical statements, confirming existing commitments and adding very few new resources.’

Window on Washington: The Future of Trade (Audio file) / Edward Alden, Myron A. Brilliant, Robert McMahon, Council on Foreign Relations, 18 November 2016
‘Experts discuss the future of U.S. trade policy in light of the recent election of Donald Trump to the U.S. presidency.’

The President’s In box: Trade / Robert McMahon, James M. Lindsay, Edward Alden, Bernard L. Schwartz, Council on Foreign Relations, 17 November 2016
In the second episode of The President’s Inbox, CFR’s James M. Lindsay, Robert McMahon, and Edward Alden examine President-Elect Donald Trump’s trade priorities.’

The Art of the Trade Deal: Priorities for Policy / Derek Scissors, American Enterprise Institute, 17 November 2016
‘Only a few people know what President-elect Donald Trump truly wants to do about trade. For the rest of us, constant conjecture about the grand vision is much less valuable than evaluating specific policies. These policies must fit at least to some extent with what the president-elect and his staff said during the campaign. Fortunately, the campaign offered plenty of trade material to work with.’
(1) Do not try to zero out the trade deficit. It will not create jobs.
(2) Focusing on China makes more sense than focusing on NAFTA. Regarding China, currency manipulation may not matter while subsidies and theft of trade secrets definitely matter.
(3) It would reassure Americans and American trade partners if positive steps accompanied new barriers. A free trade deal with Britain, for example, has many advantages.
(4) There are also unilateral actions that would make any trade policy better. These range from compiling information on trade cheaters to streamlining corporate taxes.

U.S. Allies and Rivals Digest Trump’s Victory / Thomas Carothers, Lizza Bomassi, Amr Hamzawy, Ariel (Eli) Levite, Douglas H. Paal, George Perkovich, Marc Pierini, Karim Sadjadpour, James L. Schoff, Ashley J. Tellis, Dmitri Trenin, Frederic Wehrey, Carnegie Endowment, 11 November 2016
‘A group of Carnegie’s experts examine governments digesting the news of Trump’s victory, their views and concerns related to Trump’s foreign policy, and the potential implications for their countries.’

Experts weigh in: What this election means for U.S. foreign policy and next steps / Daniel L. Byman, Dany Bahar, Sarah Yerkes, Pavel K. Baev, Dhruva Jaishankar, Richard C. Bush, Dan Arbell, David Dollar, Elizabeth Ferris, Ranj Alaaldin, Beverley Milton-Edwards, Federica Saini Fasanotti, Bruce Riedel, Robert L. McKenzie, Matteo Garavoglia, Natan Sachs, Kemal Kirişci, Ted Piccone, Philippe Le Corre, and Jessica Brandt, Brookings, 9 November 2016
‘We asked Brookings foreign policy experts what this election means for U.S. foreign policy (both in general and for a particular region or issue they work on), as well as what key recommendation they’d make to the incoming president.’

TPP Trade Deal Likely Dead After Trump Win / By Daniel Tencer, The Huffington Post Canada, 12 November 2016

What Is Lost by Burying the Trans-Pacific Partnership? / By Jackie Calmes, New York Times, 11 November 2016

Donald Trump promised to rip up trade deals. TPP is the first casualty / By David Nakamura and Ylan Q. Mui, Washington Post, 11 November 2016

US – EU relations

Nächster US-Außenminister Tillerson Der große Unbekannte / Von Severin Weiland, Spiegel Online, 14 Dezember 2016
‘Rex Tillerson soll neuer US-Außenminister werden. Doch was treibt den Ölmanager um? In Berlin spekuliert man über seine außenpolitischen Ziele – und hegt bereits konkrete Erwartungen.’

Tillerson in His Own Words: Views of Trump Pick for Top Diplomat / by Tina Davis, Bloombergs, 13 December 2016,

Trump’s unconventional picks make Europe tremble / By David M. Herszenhorn, Politico, 13 December 2016
‘Rex Tillerson’s nomination elicits joy in Moscow and puzzlement mixed with a wait-and-see attitude in EU.’

Donald Trump nomme Rex Tillerson, PDG d’ExxonMobil, au poste de secrétaire d’Etat / Gilles Paris, Le Monde, 13 December 2016

Donald Trump faces five fateful foreign policy choices  / Gideon Rachman, FT.com, 12 December 2016
‘His attitude smacks more of chaotic improvisation than strategic thinking.’

Get Ready for the Most Violent Détente Ever / by Ivan Krastev and Stephen Holmes, Foreign Policy, 22 November 2016
‘Trump and Putin want to reset U.S.-Russian relations on the basis of a shared worldview. But that might just increase the chances of a conflict.’

EU migration policies after the US elections: pushing the limits? / Yves Pascouau, EPC, 15 November 2016
‘While Donald Trump’s victory demonstrates that the tendency to ‘retreat behind one’s borders’ exists not only in Europe, his presidency will have a direct impact on US foreign policy, and thus on migration flows, testing the way migration issues are currently being addressed in the EU.’

Europe’s Trump Panic : Maybe EU leaders should emulate his call for more defense spending / Joseph Sternberg, Wall Street Journal, 14 November 2016
‘The EU may one day scrape together a viable unified military force, but for now this scheme would replace an existing alliance with a fantasy. Previous efforts have failed, and there’s little reason to believe a new one would do more than give American isolationists another alibi to walk away from NATO. Equally helpful would be a less vindictive EU approach to Britain’s exit from the Union. Many EU leaders seem eager to adopt antigrowth trade barriers as the cost of inflicting political punishment on British voters. That’s not a recipe for economic success at home or credibility with other partners.’

Yes, he can / Andrea Renda, CEPS Policy Paper No. 2016/1, Monday, 14 November 2016
‘Whether we like it or not, Donald Trump will be the 45th President of the (not so) United States of America for the next four years. In this CEPS Policy Paper, Andrea Renda calls upon readers to reflect on what this could imply for the United States and the rest of the world, including of course Europe.’

Is Trump Good for the Turkey-U.S. Relationship? / Sinan Ülgen, Doruk Ergun, Carnegie Op-Ed, 12 November 2016
‘In contrast to the reaction in many other NATO capitals, the surprise election of Donald Trump has been met with high spirits in Turkey’s capital. Ankara’s early assessment seems to reflect an understanding that democracy and rule of law issues in foreign lands will not be a high priority for the new US president.’

With Trump’s Election The TPP Probably Is Dead, Yes – As Is The TTIP / Tim Worstall, Forbes, 11 November 2016

Trump Election Likely to Put U.S.-EU Trade Talks On Ice / By Viktoria Dendrinou, Wall Street Journal, 11 November 2016
‘EU trade commissioner says Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership negotiations ‘probably be in the freezer’’

U.S. trade talks in deep freeze after Trump win, says EU / Reuters, 11 November 2016

What Europe should do about a problem like Trump / Jeremy Shapiro, European Council of Foreign Relations, 10 November 2016
‘If European governments do not take serious steps to secure a good deal with President Trump, they will likely end up with a bad one.’

TPP and US-Asia relations

Abe’s Trump Test / by Sheila A. Smith, Council on Foreign Relations, 18 November 2016
‘Abe wasted no time in reaching out to the president-elect after the election to congratulate him, and to stop by New York on his way to the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) meeting in Peru. For Trump, this was his first meeting with a world leader, and media from around the globe watched to see how he would handle the scrutiny. For Abe, however, this was the first opportunity to test just how committed the president-elect was to his campaign rhetoric.’

Trump, NATO chief pledge alliance’s ‘enduring importance’ in phone call / Reuters, 18 November 2016
‘The two leaders also addressed defense spending and agreed that “progress has been made on fairer burden-sharing, but that there is more to do” – underlining the fact that the United States spends far more on defense than Europe does. But Britain, Poland, Greece and Estonia are the only European nations to meet a NATO goal of spending at least 2 percent of gross domestic product on defense. Germany, Europe’s biggest economy, spends far less than 2 percent of its GDP on defense.’

Donald Trump’s Trade Policy Is Easy to Achieve / By Billy Melo Araujo, Newsweek, 15 November 2016
‘Despite this, doing away with TPP would be a no-brainer for Trump. It would be fairly easy to achieve; the Obama administration has already confirmed that it won’t seek to push the agreement in the lame-duck session and, for Trump, once sworn in, it would simply be a matter of not putting it to a vote before Congress. Most importantly, it would also be a hugely and immediately popular move domestically.’

The TPP is dead, long live the TPP / Mireya Solís, Brookings, 11 November 2016
‘To be sure, the TPP’s only future is a renegotiation, but a renegotiation that during the Trump presidency will most likely not include the United States. The day the United States withdraws from the TPP, the remaining 11 members need only change one clause to give the TPP a new lease on life. They could simply amend the enactment rules so that U.S. participation is no longer required for implementation of the trade deal.’

US – Mexico relations

The United States and Mexico: Moving beyond the election’s vitriol and strengthening a multifaceted partnership / Vanda Felbab-Brown, Brookings, 16 November 2016
‘Despite the election campaign rhetoric, the United States and Mexico will benefit from deepening and broadening their economic partnership. Mexico is the third largest U.S. trade partner after China and Canada, and the third-largest supplier of U.S. imports. Some 79 percent of Mexico’s total exports in 2013 went to the United States.[2] After Canada, the United States exports more to Mexico than to any other country. In merchandise, for example, the United States is by far Mexico’s leading trade partner. It is also the top destination for exports from three U.S. states—Texas, Arizona, and California—and the second most important market for another 20 U.S. states.’

Negotiating NAFTA’s Future / Stratfor Analysis, 14 November 2016
‘Although the next president will have the power to unilaterally pull out of the trade bloc, as he has threatened to do, congressional opposition and legal challenges from private companies may discourage him from doing so.’

EU Leaders comment on President Trump’s victory

Angela Merkel congratulates Donald Trump — kind of / by Anthony Faiola, Washington Post, 9 November 2016

Theresa May congratulates Donald Trump on his victory / The Telegraph, 9 November 2016

French President François Hollande said the election of Donald Trump “opens a period of uncertainty.” / Washington Post, 9 November 2016

Renzi congratulates Trump, says Italy friendship with U.S. solid / Reuters, 9 November 2016 ( Renzi congratulates Trump on victory in US elections /Youtube, 9 November 2016)

Spain’s Rajoy congratulates Donald Trump / El País, 9 Novembre 2016

Trump Conveys ‘Stay Calm’ Message to Poland Over NATO Angst / by Wojciech Moskwa and Marek Strzelecki, Bloombergs, 18 November 2016

Letter from Presidents Tusk and Juncker to congratulate Donald Trump on his election as the next President of the United States , 9 November 2016

Trade Commisioner Malmström: ‘No indication’ how Trump will deal with TTIP / Inside US Trade, 18 November 2016

Statement by Martin Schulz, EP President, following the results of the United States Presidential election , 9 November 2016

Schulz on the result of the US presidential elections / EP Press release, 9 November 2016

Statement by David McAllister following the results of the United States Presidential election , 9 November 2016

“We are not very sure what exactly Trump’s foreign policy agenda is” / David McAllister, EP News, 11 November 2016

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The content of all documents (and articles) contained in this blog is the sole responsibility of the author and any opinions expressed therein do not necessarily represent the official position of the European Parliament. It is addressed to the Members and staff of the EP for their parliamentary work. Reproduction and translation for non-commercial purposes are authorised, provided the source is acknowledged and the European Parliament is given prior notice and sent a copy. Copyright © European Union, 2014. All rights reserved

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