Donald Trump

Future of EU-US relations: 4 challenges ahead

Alwaght– The election of Donald Trump whose campaign slogans echo far-right thoughts has raised the hackles of the European leaders, though this ideology’s power gain in the US can be promising for the European hard-line right-wing parties that seek a better place in their countries’ power structure. The desire for power by these parties increased especially after the rightist British parties launched a strong campaign and managed to win people’s vote for exiting the European Union.

With Trump’s campaign vows in mind, we can say that Trump’s differences with the European countries will be about a couple of cases:

– NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) is one of the hot sticking points between Donald Trump and the European states. Trump argues NATO is a military organization that was formed following the Second World War and now it ceased to be efficient. To put it other way, NATO has become old and obsolete according to him. The incoming US president believes that NATO needs to undergo amendment and that Washington should scale down its financial aids to this Western military organization. The Europeans are highly concerned to see decrease in the levels of the American military and defense cooperation with the EU.

– On the other side, Trump has rightist and nationalist views in common with the Russian President Vladimir Putin, something that can sound the alerts for the European bloc. Additionally, Trump’s openness to bargaining and negotiating with the Russians in a variety of fields will directly overshadow the European interests while the Russian president still dreams of gathering together under Moscow’s leadership the countries that formerly were part of the Soviet Union’s area of influence and today NATO through its policy of expansion towards the East is integrating them into its sway area.

– The US new president’s opposition to the nuclear accord with Iran and arguing that Washington lost many of interests in this deal has drawn reactions of the European leaders. The nuclear agreement, or Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), is an outcome of several hours of intense negotiations of the EU and the US with Iran. Actually, Europe that once its following of the US policies resulted in losing of the Iranian market does not want this to happen again as a result of Trump’s anti-JCPOA stances.

– Finally, Trump willingness to back the national economy instead of just relying on trading with abroad can expose to collapse the trading relations between the US and the European bloc. This can push the EU into economic bankruptcy as we are aware of the role of the US in the global economy and the dependence of the Europeans to the US financial services and markets.

So, if Trump brings to reality his election campaign pledges about dealing with the EU in his upcoming four years in office, the two sides’ relation will not enjoy bright prospects, unless the policies of the new president of the US change and take the former track under the duress of the political realities and Republican strains.

But aside from which direction the US-EU relations will go, Iran could use the opportunity of rifts between Trump and the European leaders to boost financial, trade, and economic bonds with the EU. Although it is hard for the new White House administration to modify the nuclear deal with Iran due to the guarantees it is backed with by the UN’s resolution, European concerns about losing once again the Iranian market and so being replaced by the Chinese companies is an issue that Iran can take advantage of to urge the EU countries to rapidly transfer modern technology to the Iranian market and stay committed to implementing the trade agreements according to the terms of JCPOA. Meanwhile, Britain keeps being out of circle of possible beneficiaries of Iran’s markets as it continues its long-term siding with the US anti-Iranian policies and also because of its exit from the EU.

All in all, it can be maintained that the leaders of big European countries such as Germany and France are well aware that if they fail to curb Eurozone’s crises– like what happened to Greece and Spain– the possibility of victory of right-wing parties and even opting out of the EU bloc will witness a rise. Meanwhile, deepening European gaps with the US can even speed up this process.