French President Mark Long hopes to make a concession on the Iranian issue in exchange for the idea that the United States will no longer launch a trade war against France, and it has completely gone bankrupt in less than a week. On June 6th, Beijing time, Trump and Mark Long shook hands in the northern French city of Caen to discuss how to solve the Iranian problem. On June 11, Trump, who had just returned from Europe, said in an interview with the US media that French wines can enter the United States duty-free, while American wines are subject to tariffs by France. The United States should “do something” for French wines. Change this unfairness.
What does Trump want to do?
It should be said that there is no serious trade imbalance between the United States and France. In 2018, the United States even had a trade surplus with France. The trade volume between the United States and France is even smaller. The multi-billion dollar trade volume is to make the US-French tariff level consistent, but it is only a few tens of millions of dollars. To weaken the competitiveness of French wine in the United States, It has no effect at all.
Wine is the pride of France. Trump’s reason for taking wine is not for the tens of millions of dollars in tariff revenue, to combat the French self-confidence, to win a larger trade war, is Trump’s main aims.
In 2018, Trump announced a high tariff on steel and aluminum products from major trading partners, including the European Union, and then threatened to impose tariffs on EU automotive products. The goal was of course to hope that the EU would surrender to the United States on trade issues. In order to protect his own fist products, European Commission President Juncker visited the United States and Trump reached a consensus and decided to launch free trade negotiations aimed at non-automotive industrial products with zero tariffs, zero subsidies and zero barriers.
The US-European free trade talks have been going on for a year, and the progress is not satisfactory. This is mainly because Trump’s ideas have changed. Affected by the US agricultural state and agricultural groups, Trump began to seek to change the previous consensus with Junck and demanded that agriculture be included in the US-Europe trade negotiations. However, France, as a traditional agricultural power of the European Union, resolutely opposes this idea, making it difficult for the two sides to start trade negotiations. This is the scene in which Trump put pressure on Markon on trade issues.
The EU is forced to fight
From 2018, when Trump started the first shot of the trade war, the EU has always hoped to avoid direct conflict with the United States in the trade field through compromise. Until June 6, Mark Long also hoped to cooperate with the United States on the Iranian issue in exchange for Trump’s understanding and sympathy.
However, Mark Long has forgotten Trump. The core of all policy objectives is “US priority.” How can we win tangible economic benefits for the United States in international exchanges? Trump needs to consider the core issues. Although the Iranian issue is important, it is no longer of interest to Trump compared to the real money that can be recovered from the EU’s second largest economy. Therefore, Mark Long’s thoughts of appeasement are doomed to be futile.
Compared with the lack of free trade negotiations in the Obama era, Trump is about to start negotiations more like a blackmail. In the Obama era, the United States and Europe were in a relatively fair position, and no agreement was reached. In the next trade negotiations, the two sides will not be able to sail smoothly, and it is more likely to talk while playing.
The EU will soon realize the pain of not helping.
Although the United States is the world’s first hegemon, it is the so-called double-handed and hard-fought four-handed. If other major economies can reach a consensus to maintain the multilateral system and oppose Trump’s unilateralist actions, Trump’s trade war cannot be like today. This is smooth. It is precisely because of the EU’s trade appeasement that Trump’s trade war has become unmanageable, and he has become the most important tool for his internal support and for the benefit of the outside world.
When Trump launched the steel-aluminum trade war in 2018, Europe took the lead in escaping. They only retaliated against Americans on a 50% scale, which objectively helped Trump’s ambition to expand trade wars.
Now Trump has reached a new version of the US-Mega agreement with Mexico and Canada, and trade negotiations with Japan are underway. If the EU wants to fight for its own economic interests, it will find that there are fewer allies around.
Although the EU’s economic aggregate is comparable to that of the United States, because the EU’s economic integration process is not sufficient, the EU and the United States will be very fierce, but the first to fall is definitely the EU. By then, the EU will find the consequences of the lack of helpers, whether it is surrender or support, it will be very painful.
Trump’s “special” meaning to the EU
After World War II, Europe’s comprehensive strength quickly weakened, but whether it is Britain, France or Germany, it still carries the pride of the old continent and is unwilling to face up to the reality of European decline. The establishment of the European Union has also enabled many European elites to see the hope of European renaissance, as if the EU can still compete with the United States and Russia in the first-line players.
But the appearance of Trump broke the illusion and illusion of all this. Trump did not regard the EU as a game opponent of the same grade. In the eyes of the American elite, only China and Russia, and even Russia, who are able to compete with the United States, are not rivals of the same grade, let alone the EU that is still in internal consumption. Trump is just a matter of being more direct, and visualizing this idea of the American elite.
At the same time, Trump did not regard the EU as a close ally of the United States. The trade war launched by Trump did not spare the EU because of the same values. Next, the US-European free trade negotiations, Trump’s asking price will remain as high as ever. Not only that, but Trump’s encouragement of the British Brexit can also be seen that he not only does not want to help the EU, but also always thinks about how to break up the EU.
Letting the EU see its true strength and status should be Trump’s biggest contribution. Peace and equality have never been achieved by pleading. If the EU still wants to make a difference in the international arena, it is the right time for Trump to further promote the political, economic and military integration of the EU.
In April 2018, Mark Long visited the United States for the first time, and they planted an oak tree on the White House lawn. The tree of friendship on June 8 was confirmed to have died. This seems to remind the EU leaders represented by Mark Long that it is time to change the past appeasement and dependence on the United States and face the enormous risks that Trump brings to the EU.