Trump in Europe Thierry Charlier/Getty Images

Will Trump Unite Europe?

Beyond his bizarre, intemperate tweeting, the challenge that US President Donald Trump poses for Europe is real, but not always easily defined. The current American administration has made cooperation within Europe more important than ever, but whether Europeans can overcome their worst instincts remains to be seen.

PARIS – Beyond his bizarre, intemperate tweeting, the challenge that US President Donald Trump poses for Europe is real, but not always easily defined. There are differences between what Trump says, what his administration does, and what Congress makes him do. In fact, just last week, Trump was given no choice but to sign a bill imposing new sanctions on Russia that he had stridently opposed.

Moreover, the European Union’s capacity for collective action varies from issue to issue. Europe can come together on soft-power issues such as trade and climate; but its security and defense is largely dependent on the Franco-German relationship, which has never been more important than it is today.

Trump launched an offensive against multilateral trade as soon as he took office. He abandoned the 12-country Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), and withdrew the United States from negotiations over the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) with the EU, which would have created a vast North Atlantic common market. This has put the EU on guard, because it is more dependent than the US on trade, and especially on the World Trade Organization’s Dispute Settlement Body, which the Trump administration may try to bypass.

To continue reading, please log in or enter your email address.

Registration is quick and easy and requires only your email address. If you already have an account with us, please log in. Or subscribe now for unlimited access.


Log in;

Handpicked to read next

  1. China corruption Isaac Lawrence/Getty Images

    The Next Battle in China’s War on Corruption

    • Chinese President Xi Jinping knows well the threat that corruption poses to the authority of the Communist Party of China and the state it controls. 
    • But moving beyond Xi's anti-corruption purge to build robust and lasting anti-graft institutions will not be easy, owing to enduring opportunities for bureaucratic capture.
  2. Italy unemployed demonstration SalvatoreEsposito/Barcroftimages / Barcroft Media via Getty Images

    Putting Europe’s Long-Term Unemployed Back to Work

    Across the European Union, millions of people who are willing and able to work have been unemployed for a year or longer, at great cost to social cohesion and political stability. If the EU is serious about stopping the rise of populism, it will need to do more to ensure that labor markets are working for everyone.

  3. Latin America market Federico Parra/Getty Images

    A Belt and Road for the Americas?

    In a time of global uncertainty, a vision of “made in the Americas” prosperity provides a unifying agenda for the continent. If implemented, the US could reassert its historical leadership among a group of countries that share its fundamental values, as well as an interest in inclusive economic growth and rising living standards.

  4. Startup office Mladlen Antonov/Getty Images

    How Best to Promote Research and Development

    Clearly, there is something appealing about a start-up-based innovation strategy: it feels democratic, accessible, and so California. But it is definitely not the only way to boost research and development, or even the main way, and it is certainly not the way most major innovations in the US came about during the twentieth century.

  5. Trump Trade speech Bill Pugliano/Getty Images .

    Preparing for the Trump Trade Wars

    In the first 11 months of his presidency, Donald Trump has failed to back up his words – or tweets – with action on a variety of fronts. But the rest of the world's governments, and particularly those in Asia and Europe, would be mistaken to assume that he won't follow through on his promised "America First" trade agenda.