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U.S. President Biden’s Rocky Road To Rebuilding Trust

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СообщениеДобавлено: 22.01.2021 11:58    Заголовок сообщения: U.S. President Biden’s Rocky Road To Rebuilding Trust Ответить с цитатой

U.S. President Biden’s Rocky Road To Rebuilding Trust With Europe

In a sign of bridges being rebuilt between the United States and Europe, the newly sworn-in President Joe Biden pledged: “We will repair our alliances and engage with the world once again.”

But taking down the walls put up by the Trump administration with the EU will prove more difficult and the consequences will outlast the Biden administration.

EU leaders see Biden’s return to the White House, after serving as vice-president under Obama, as reassuring.

But seeing eye to eye with Europe on China, tech and defense policies will cause friction and rebuilding trust may be an even harder challenge.

A major survey reported that almost a third of Europeans agreed that after Trump’s election win in 2016, Americans cannot be trusted and that 60 percent of Europeans think the U.S. political system is broken.

“The transatlantic bond is at breaking point. We must urgently rebuild this trust,” Vice-President of the European Parliament Dita Charanzova said in response to the poll.

The survey published by the European Council on Foreign Relations think tank, which questioned Europeans in 11 countries also showed that only 10 percent of those surveyed saw the United States as a reliable security partner that would always protect Europe.

NATO members saw a huge breach of trust had taken place following Trump’s ambiguity over whether he would uphold NATO’s collective defense guarantees due to longstanding arguments that European members were not pulling their weight.

“Trump literally thought that EU had been set up to cheat and take advantage of the U.S.,” said Luigi Scazzieri, a researcher at the Centre for European Reform think tank.

“Biden doesn’t, so this makes working together feasible in a huge range of areas,” he said.

Early resolutions
The rebuilding of transatlantic relations has already started.

On his first day in office, Biden signed a host of executive orders that include rejoining the Paris climate pact and the World Health Organization.

Many members of Biden’s team are also people that Europe has already worked with and trust, such as his pick for U.S. secretary of state, Tony Blinken.

Brussels and Washington are also keen to reboot World Trade Organization initiatives.

And although it may take a while, there is hope for a resolution for the tariffs that Trump slapped on the EU for aluminum imports. Additionally, the longstanding dispute on subsidies between Boeing and Airbus could be settled too.

A fragile rebuilding of trust
But an easy return of EU-U.S. relations prior to Trump is unlikely.

The main issue of contention is China. Even before being sworn in, the Biden administration showed its dismay after the European Commission signed a trade pact with China in December.

The Comprehensive Agreement on Investments (CAI), which took seven years in the making, will remove barriers to foreign investments in China and allow European companies to compete more equally.

But the Biden team has already signaled that it will continue with a tough line on China.

Blinkin said on January 19 he believed Trump was correct to take a hard-line approach to China due to alleged human rights violations but did not agree with his methods.

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