Throughout history the strong bond between the United States and Europe, arguably the world’s most important alliance, has been decisive within the international arena. Massive migration from the ‘old world’ to the ‘new’ during the past centuries has been the reason for sharing important norms and values such as democracy, liberalism, and international trade.
The election of President Donald Trump, however, has put doubt to this alliance, which was the strongest supporter of the rule-based international system of the present day. It has to be seen whether the election of this President is a temporary matter, or that the United states will continue, in some way or another, to choose a more unilateral path.
The bellicose language of President Trump and his opposition to agreements and existing matters of international affairs predating his election, have put him on a collision course with his partners in Europe. The unpredictability of the U.S. President was a reason for European leaders to give him the benefit of the doubt and start with debate instead of confrontation. However, as France’s President Macron’s short ‘bromance’ showed, Trump can hardly be influenced in matters of unambiguous election promises.
European leaders have confronted the U.S. president on several occasions on reasonable terms in order to overcome their differences in international politics. In the case of U.S. withdrawal from the Paris agreement on climate change and the unilateral departure from the JCPOA or the Iran Nuclear Deal showed Trump’s intractable belief for the ‘righteous’ path of the U.S. However, trade disputes hit the interests of European partners more directly and put the Atlantic partnership on a collision course. One country stands to benefit from current developments: Russia.
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