Who supports Gary Teal for the president
Donald Trump's tweets
The beginning of a trade war
- The beginning of a trade war
American President Donald Trump challenges the principles of world trade. Unsurprisingly, he does this through his tweets. They are evidence of how to escalate an escalation that could end in a global trade war.
What can we do?
It might be possible to explain the interrelationships of international trade to him. That already helped when Chancellor Merkel and Finance Minister Schäuble denied Trump's accusation that Germany was manipulating currency. At that time he seems to have understood that currency issues are regulated in the EU and that Germany has no direct access. The success of such an attempt seems doubtful, however, as Trump has two salient traits: on the one hand, the tendency to simplify complex facts and, on the other hand, the tendency to find external guilty parties for one's own mistakes. Proposals to reduce the US foreign trade deficit, as expressed by China, are therefore unlikely to be recommended.
In no case should we enter the spiral of escalation. Rather, it is advisable to confidently declare that we, the EU, are ready to reconsider our positions, that we take the American position seriously. Of course, the steel trade, which Trump has criticized, is not without its problems, if we think of the Chinese overcapacities, for example. This is where the G-20 round is called for. The consistent strengthening of the WTO is another topic that the EU should take up. If you want to strengthen it as a multilateral system, the states should also think about setting up a secretariat at the WTO. Trade imbalances are high on Trump's red list. And even if the German surplus may well be earned, supported by the weak euro exchange rate, it would certainly be advisable to also take a look at the domestic market. We have sufficient need for investments in education, digitization, infrastructure, to name just a few. The reduction of the trade surplus associated with a stronger focus on the domestic economy would be a signal to Trump. And he wouldn't harm us.
In the area of security policy, Europe has already signaled that it will strengthen its own defense position and increase military budgets. That should be continued consistently, because only one thing seems certain when dealing with Donald Trump, namely that it is highly uncertain how and whether America will continue to fulfill its role as world policeman in the next few years. We may have to be responsible for our own safety in the years to come. But that also makes us more independent, more powerful in terms of foreign policy and could also make people more aware of the need for the European project.
Author: Dr. Claudia Schlembach, HSS
© 2021 Hanns Seidel Foundation
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