Two years after President Trump's election we have a look at the political, social and economical landscape, the changes in multilateral relations in the fields of trade, security policy as well as climate and energy. President Trump is at the same time a symptom and a cause for the divide that splits the US. But which position can the EU adopt in transatlantic relations?
During the past seven decades, transatlantic ties have been tested repeatedly. They have included economic conflicts, competition for markets, dealing with armed conflicts and cultural clashes. Europe and the US share both the challenges and the consequences for either success or failure which makes the transatlantic relationship more important now than it has been since the end of the Cold War.
The disappointment of Europeans grows with the tone and manner of Trump’s behaviour, his disregard for European arguments against trade restrictions as well as the fact that he broke an international agreement and threatens European businesses with secondary sanctions. But how can a divided Europe keep up with the US?
Jerusalem has seemingly forever been at the epicentre of conflicts in the Middle-East. The Israeli-Palestinian conflict has proven no different. Sovereignty over Jerusalem remains deeply contested between Israelis and Palestinians with both sides laying claim to the Haram al-Sharif / Temple Mount.
Increasingly, Trump is causing headaches for EU trade policy makers with tariffs of 25% and 10% on steel and aluminium respectively. The United States turn towards protectionism while the EU sticks to an open, rules-based global economy.
The West is more and more devided and global strategic interests are diverging. The impact of the US President on views and transatlantic trust is significant. Protectionism and populism undermine Western relations.
Trump’s accession to the White House shows that his policy constitutes a turning point in transatlantic relations but also shows certain indices of continuities in American foreign policy of the last decades.