As the US President-elect Donald Trump prepares to take the oath and move into the White House on a wave of anti-globalization and protectionist rhetoric paradoxically accompanied by a call to fight for Free Trade, Trump has mentioned that he wants to impose a 35% tariff on Chinese imports; instruct the US Treasury Secretary to label China a currency manipulator; re-negotiate or pull out of NAFTA; and withdraw from TPP (the Trans-Pacific Partnership which has not yet been ratified by the United States), new reports warns that Free Trade is under threat.
On 24th January, a few days after the inauguration of the 45th US Presidency, the Delegation of the European Union to the United States, Le Monde Diplomatique Debates and the American University School of International Service will present the Washington EU-US Conference to examine the potential bilateral policy agenda over the next 4 years. Discussions will embrace transatlantic government, academic, media and business perspectives.
Whereas the European Commission negotiates the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) launched in 2013 with the US on behalf of the EU, its largest commercial partner, Donald Trump has not directly addressed TTIP keeping his political speech focused on his new approaches on trade with China, South Korea and Mexico, country at whose border says going to build up a Great Wall of China-styled new fence paid by the own Mexicans.
Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström and the current US Trade Representative Michael Froman have published a joint assessment of the progress made in TTIP negotiations. On that occasion Commissioner Malmström said: "As discussed with Member States at the last Trade Council in November, this assessment aims to outline and summarize where things stand in the EU-US trade talks, building on our established policy of increased transparency in these negotiations. The EU has left no stone unturned in trying to achieve a balanced, ambitious and high-standard TTIP agreement with clear benefits for citizens, local communities and companies. We have made considerable, tangible progress, as this summary demonstrates. I look forward to engaging with the incoming US administration on the future of transatlantic trade relations."
The EU Commissioner considers that the rationale behind finding an ambitious and balanced trade deal between the EU and the USA remains strong: "Together, we represent the two largest advanced industrial economies in the world and a successful trade deal would create jobs and stimulate economic growth on both sides of the Atlantic. TTIP negotiations now come to a pause, while we await clarity on the ambitions and priorities of the incoming US administration as regards a trade agreement between the EU and the US." Malmström stated.
The Washington EU-US Conference with participation of top US and EU leaders and analysts will be livestreamed. Click here to watch live: Washington EU-US Conference