There are many issues facing the future of transatlantic trade between the US and the EU. Arguably the three most important are:
- What happens with the UK?
- US sanctions relating to Nord Stream 2, and possible tariffs on European vehicles
- The relationship between the US and China
These three events will all strongly influence how the EU and the US proceed with transatlantic relations. The UK is faced with competing and contradictory demands from the EU and the US but needs to come to individual agreements with both. Additionally, the sanctions on Nord Stream 2 and potential for tariffs on European cars is creating a rift between the US and EU and, thus far, appears to be souring relations at least a little bit. Especially, after the Navalny case, tensions between Berlin and Moscow rose as the agreement on the gas pipeline came under pressure. The project started in 2011 to transport gas from Russia to Europe. It could therefore suffer significant slowdowns until the Kremlin provides explanations concerning the well-known politician and blogger, currently hospitalized in Berlin after being was deliberately poisoned on a domestic flight to Russia in late August. Finally, the US has adopted a “two-track” approach to China. The relation between China and the US is key to the EU, which is stuck in the crossfire of the ongoing trade war between the two.
This paper will first give a brief background on EU-US trade, before going into the what will happen next with the UK. Following this, the paper will examine the possibility of additional tariffs on European vehicles and the current sanctions on Nord Stream 2 and what these both mean for the EU. Finally, US-China relations and their effect and relevance to the EU, and the impact of Coronavirus on US-EU trade relations will be reviewed.
Policy Brief – Ryan Jacobsen, September 2020 (Update of the brief Future of Global Free Trade – Transatlantic Perspective, March 2020)
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