Accurate, Focused Research on Law, Technology and Knowledge Discovery Since 2002

CRS – Transatlantic Relations in 2018

Transatlantic Relations in 2018. January 10, 2018. IN10847. “As the second year of the Trump Administration begins, a degree of uncertainty lingers over transatlantic relations. The U.S.-European partnership could face challenges in 2018. Following the election of President Trump, numerous European officials and analysts expressed concern about the future trajectory of U.S.-European relations, particularly the U.S. commitment to NATO, the European Union (EU), and the multilateral trading system. Although the Trump Administration has not altered or withdrawn from the fundamental aspects of the transatlantic relationship, many European leaders appear uneasy with key parts of the Trump Administration’s “America First” foreign policy and some question whether the United States will remain a reliable partner in 2018. Many European policymakers harbor concerns about Trump Administration policies on a range of international challenges, from relations with Russia, China, and the Middle East to issues such as global migration, the role of multilateral organizations, and free trade. Some European officials also are wary about the Administration’s commitment to the 2015 multilateral nuclear deal with Iran and have urged the United States to continue to support the deal. U.S. decisions to withdraw from the Paris climate agreement and to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel have become irritants in the relationship. Some Europeans consider President Trump to be ambivalent about the EU and the U.S. security umbrella for Europe. The Trump Administration’s views on a proposed U.S.-EU free-trade agreement (the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, or T-TIP) remain unclear, and the Administration has yet to nominate a U.S. ambassador to the EU. The Trump Administration continues to urge NATO allies to shoulder more of the burden for European security and increase their defense spending. Others note, however, that President Trump has reaffirmed the U.S. commitment to NATO’s “Article 5” mutual defense clause and the Administration’s FY2018 budget proposal requested a 40% increase in funding for the U.S. European Reassurance Initiative (since renamed the European Deterrence Initiative, or EDI), which seeks to strengthen the U.S. military presence in Central and Eastern Europe. At the same time, the EU faces several internal challenges, including negotiating the United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the EU (“Brexit”), addressing rule-of-law concerns in Poland and Hungary, and managing the migration and Catalan crises. Such issues are consuming a good deal of the EU’s attention and could limit its ability to work with the United States on shared foreign-policy concerns. Despite the potential challenges to transatlantic relations in 2018, most European governments view close political and economic ties with the United States as a cornerstone of their foreign and security policies. Many European policymakers hope to preserve the existing strong partnership with the United States on issues such as cooperative approaches to decisionmaking, support for multilateral institutions, security, countering terrorism, promoting cybersecurity, and resolving the Ukraine crisis.”

Sorry, comments are closed for this post.