Volume XVI, 4-2017
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How Will Trump’s Policies Influence the EU?

How Will Trump’s Policies Influence the EU?

Recently, the President of the United States Donald Trump passed the milestone of his first hundred days in office. Some of his actions and decisions were expected and predictable, some of them were rather surprising.

Putting the evaluation of his policies aside, President Trump definitely brought new momentum both to US domestic and international politics. The impact of his presidency on the EU economy and the overall implications for EU-US relations were discussed by the representatives of EU institutions, the Czech government, economic experts and other stakeholders at a debate that took place on 26th of May 2017 in the European House in Prague.

Vice-President of the European Parliament Pavel Telička (ALDE/ANO 2011) said that it is still too early for a deeper evaluation of Trump’s presidency. So far, Trump’s decisions lack consistency and, therefore, it is more difficult to anticipate his future actions, both domestically and vis-à-vis international partners. Under the mandate of President Obama, the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) between the EU and the US came to a mature stage of negotiations. However, under President Trump, the deal has been put aside. Aleš Chmelař, Chief EU Analyst of the Office of the Government of the Czech Republic, says he cannot imagine that under President Trump, TTIP negotiations would mature further than they are at present. He expects that the negotiations might turn more political and whilst both partners could reach a political agreement, a deep trade and investment agreement similar to TTIP is not so likely.

President Trump has also been active at the international level. He withdrew from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and Paris Agreement, promised to renegotiate the NAFTA agreement and also introduced his intention to implement a tax reform that would significantly disadvantage American companies exporting outside of the US as well as imports to the US. Although this seems to be a negative sign, according to Jan Bureš, Chief Economist at Patria Finance, the proposed fiscal expansion could lead to a stronger US dollar, which would have a positive impact on European exporters.

During the debate, participants had the opportunity to vote on several questions related to this topic. The results showed that almost two thirds of the participants support TTIP and more than half of them believe that TTIP negotiations will continue. However, TTIP will need some significant changes in order to stay alive. Almost two thirds of the participants believe that Trump won’t be able to implement the majority of his policies. Despite that, he will continue with his sharp rhetoric. As for the future of economic relations between the EU and the US, more than half of the participants think that EU won’t be a major point of interest for Trump and that the mutual relationship will cool.

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Other articles in this issue:

Low Attention to Business in the Digital Single Market
Mobility Package: When Will the National Rules Disappear?
EESC CORNER: Spring Energy Package