Home Today's Paper Most Popular Video Gallery Photo Gallery
Subscription Blog Signin Register
Logo
Thursday, January 18, 2018 03:45:21 AM
Follow Us On: Facebook Twitter Twitter Twitter Twitter

Can the EU and US still work together?

By
11th-Jan-2018       
Comments
Share your thought
Post a comment »
Read all () »

Fraser Cameron :
Much of the European commentary following publication of President Trump's national security strategy (NSS) in December was highly critical. But despite the well-known differences on trade, climate change and Iran a closer examination of the strategy reveals a number of shared priorities.
Trump announced that the US was engaged in a new era of competition facing rivals such as Russia and China 'that seek to challenge American influence, values, and wealth.' This is similar to EU assessments that point to Moscow and Beijing's aggressive foreign policy and attempts to undermine democracy. Trump went on to state that he hoped 'to build a great partnership with those and other countries' which again is what the EU is trying to do. The EU still describes its relations with Russia and China as strategic partnerships although this description realistically can no longer be applied to Russia as there is almost a complete rupture in relations following its annexation of Crimea and support for separatist forces in eastern Ukraine. And despite Trump's reluctance to criticise Putin his administration has now agreed to provide defensive weapons to Ukraine, a move that Obama refused to make.
Another highlight of the NSS was trade policy based on 'the principles of fairness and reciprocity.' If you listen to the litany of EU complaints against China, calling for 'a level playing field' you can see the similarities with Trump's approach. Both the EU and US are negotiating bilateral investment treaties with China and facing similar problems on market access. Brussels and Washington are also tightening their trade defence instruments vis-à-vis China.
Trump also called for greater attention to homeland security and confirmed his intention to build a wall on the border with Mexico. The EU may not go in for building walls but some of its member states have erected pretty daunting fences to deter migrants. The EU has also struck a Faustian deal with Turkey and Libya to reduce the flow of refugees to the EU.
Another priority for Trump was modernisation of the military. Again this has been a top theme for Federica Mogherini with the December European Council endorsing her proposals for closer defence cooperation (PESCO). She has boasted that 'more has been achieved in the past ten months than the past decade'. She will soon discover, however, that securing agreement on paper is one thing, securing agreement to rationalise defence procurement let alone place troops in harm's way is quite another.
Although he emphasised the need for a strong economy, Trump also recognised the need to strengthen alliances to cope with new threats. Yes, these allies should pay more for their own security but there was no talk of the US going it alone in today's world. Trump's call for Europeans to pay more is also not new. It was a running theme of the Obama administration with his defence secretary, Bob Gates, starkly warning Europe that Americans were fed up with paying the lion's share to defend Europe. The fact that his warnings were largely ignored by most EU governments has led Trump to up the rhetoric but it is not a change in American policy. Chancellor Merkel seemed to get it when she said last October that Europeans will have to look after their own security. But Berlin has been a laggard in moving towards the 2% NATO target for defence spending.
Trump is often and rightly criticised for not mentioning human rights as a foreign policy commitment. But he did say that while the US did not seek to impose its way of life on anyone it would champion American values without apology. He tends to use 'freedom' rather than human rights or democracy in his speeches but this is also a shared value with Europe.
The actual NSS document thus offers a certain continuity in US foreign policy although for domestic reasons Trump sought to distance himself from the 'misguided views' of his predecessors. They had been responsible for negotiating 'disastrous trade deals' at the expense of American jobs. They had failed to build up the nation at home, failed to fund the military, and failed to insist that America's allies pay their fair share for defence. They had neglected the North Korean nuclear menace, made a 'disastrous, weak, and incomprehensibly bad deal with Iran' and had surrendered US sovereignty to 'foreign bureaucrats in faraway and distant capitals.'
But all this was changing said Trump. He defended his decision to withdraw from the Trans-Pacific Partnership and the 'very expensive and unfair' Paris Climate Accord. He said that he had scolded the NATO allies who were not paying their fair dues. He promised that North Korea 'will be taken care of' without offering any details.
A sensible EU approach would be to seize the opportunities in the NSS to enhance cooperation with the US especially in dealing with Russia and China. The EU should also continue to reach out to different constituencies in the US to support EU objectives - Congress on the Iran deal, the individual states such as California on the Paris climate agreement. And above all the EU needs to have a serious discussion, post Brexit, about how to take more responsibility for its own security. Trump may have done the EU a favour by kick-starting this debate.

(Fraser Cameron is Director of the EU-Asia Centre and a Senior Advisor at Cambre Associates).

Tariff
Add Rate

News Archive

Inside The New Nation

Business & Economy »

Filippo Lanzi, new head of Asia Pacific GSK Consumer Healthcare


Business Desk :GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) Consumer Healthcare has announced the appointment of Filippo Lanzi as its regional head of the Asia Pacific, encompassing 23 territories. Lanzi is also the newest member of the Consumer Healthcare Strategic Leadership Team and the GSK Singapore Country Board.Lanzi joined GSK as part of a joint ...

International »

US govt shutdown looms amid harsh immigration exchange


Reuters, Washington :Partisan finger-pointing over immigration policy on Tuesday left the U.S. Congress and the White House stumbling closer to a possible federal government shutdown by the end of the week, although Wall Street held out hopes for a deal to prevent that.Republicans who control Congress are expected to try ...

Editorial »

Be careful about corruption over the big projects


Finance Minister AMA Muhith has said the China Harbour Engineering Company Limited that got the contract for expansion of Dhaka-Sylhet Highway had bribed government officials. So, the government "blacklisted" the firm and decided to fund the expansion work of the 226km Dhaka-Sylhet road to a four-lane highway on its own, ...

Sports »

Anett Kontaveit of Estonia makes a forehand return to Germany's Mona Barthel during their second round match at the Australian Open tennis championships in Melbourne, Australia on Wednesday.


Entertainment »

Valentine’s Day telefilm Mithojeebi


Sheikh Arif Bulbon :On the occasion of coming Valentine’s Day, Mir Sabbir and Moutushi Biswas acted together under Azizul Hakim’s direction in a special telefilm titled Mithojeebi scripted by Zinat Hakim to telecast on Channel i. Both Sabbir and Moutushi acted under Azizul Hakim for the first time. Zinat Hakim ...

City »

BNP Chairperson Begum Khaleda Zia appeared before the special court on Bakshi Bazar Alia Madrasha premises in the city yesterday on two corruption cases filed by Anti-Corruption Commission.


Editorial »

Lies about economic progress are coming out


The economy has come under pressure due to the banking sector crisis, inflation and soaring imports amid inadequate export earnings and insufficient remittance inflows, the Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD) said recently. The banking sector is suffering from cronyism, the think-tank said, adding that various irregularities and embezzlement of public ...

Sports »

Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic makes a forehand return to Germany's Andrea Petkovic during their first round match at the Australian Open tennis championships in Melbourne, Australia on Tuesday.


Entertainment »

Much-awaited intense and gripping trailer of Breathe


After tantalizing the senses of audiences with the edge of the seat teaser, Amazon Prime Video and Abundantia Entertainment have now released the much-awaited trailer of Breathe. Breathe brings to the audience R Madhavan in the OTT space for the very first time. The trailer of the digital series is ...

Entertainment »

Richi works in a serial after returning country


Sheikh Arif Bulbon :Popular TV actress Richi Solaiman returned to Bangladesh on December 8. This time she came here to pass time only with her family and close persons of media. Despite having earlier schedule to come to country Richi did not agree to work for this reason. After returning ...

International »

We will `strangle` US-backed force in Syria `before it`s even born`: Erdogan


Reuters: Beirut :Turkey's Tayyip Erdogan threatened on Monday to "strangle" a planned 30,000-strong US-backed force in Syria "before it's even born," as Washington's backing for Kurdish fighters drove a wedge into relations with one of its main Middle East allies.The United States announced its support on Sunday for plans for ...

International »

Melania, America's enigmatic first lady


AFP, New York :Groomed to perfection yet rarely heard in public, Melania Trump is an enigma-a first lady whose opinions, marriage and goals remain a mystery to millions of Americans.She is without question a unique first lady: a former model who once posed nude in her husband's private jet; the ...

Business & Economy »

NRBC Bank aims to woo investment, quality banking


Kazi Zahidul Hasan  :NRB Commercial (NRBC) Bank Ltd has taken steps to bring substantial amount of foreign investment mainly from expatriate Bangladeshis this year in line with the objective it stated in the founding charter. "The bank was established to bring investment of non-resident Bangladeshi (NRBs) but it slipped from ...

Business & Economy »

Syed Waseque Md. Ali, Managing Director of First Security Islami Bank Limited, poses with the participants of the 28th Foundation Course at its Training Institute in the city recently. Senior officials of the bank were present.


City »

BNP Chairperson Begum Khaleda Zia appeared before the special court on Bakshi Bazar Alia Madrasha premises in the city on Tuesday on two corruption cases filed by Anti-Corruption Commission.


 
Items that you save may be read at any time on your computer, iPad, iPhone or Android devices.
 
Are you new to our website? Do you have already an account at our website?
Create An Account Log in here
Email this news to a friend or like someone
Email:
Write a comment to this news