First, the EU/US trade relations since the arrival of the Trump administration became all but simple. Halt of the TTIP negotiations, additional US tariffs on a range of products and looming duties on the EU automotive export, Airbus-Boeing disputes, sanctions against companies that are involved in the Nord Stream 2 project or are doing business in Iran or Cuba, etc.
Do we have to accept a transactional approach to trade presented by the present US administration as the new reality? Is it based on a “deal making”, or is it a revival of protectionism? Will we see again in the future the level of ambition aimed for in the TTIP negotiations?
Second, it is the United States’ “two track system” to China. On one track there is a strategic geopolitical and technological confrontation with China, which is here to stay and gives no sign of abating. On the other track is the new US-China provisional trade deal and cease fire in trade disputes.
What should be the position of the EU in this situation? Should a more proactive approach be taken? What should be the role of the WTO?
Third, Brexit. The UK formally left the EU in February 2020 and the two sides have until the end of the transition period to set the terms of their future relations. Trade is a key part of the ongoing negotiations as trading under WTO rules would be highly disruptive to the close-knit economic ties between the EU and the UK. Since the future agreement needs to be implemented before 1 st January 2021, little time remains to conclude the talks. However, progress has been held up by major disagreements between the two sides, particularly on fisheries and provisions guaranteeing a level playing field.
Is there still a chance for a complex FTA? Will the UK be able to negotiate a trade deal with the US first? Is it possible for the UK to negotiate both trade deals at the same time? Does the UK/Japan trade deal create a precedent?
The welcomes and closing remarks will be made by Jan Macháček, Chairman of the Board of the Institute for Politics and Society.
Dita Charanzová, Vice President of the European Parliament
David O’Sullivan, Former Ambassador of the European Union to the United States
Anthony Gardner, Former U.S. Ambassador to the European Union
Casper Klynge, Vice President EU Government Affairs, Microsoft
Markus Beyrer, Director General, BusinessEurope
The event will be moderated by Ivan Hodáč, founder and president of the Aspen Institute Central Europe.
The debate will be held in English and you can watch it live on our Facebook.