Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Brussels prepares for all possible consequences of the US presidential election

The European Commission said this Monday that it is preparing for “all possible outcomes” of the United States elections in November, which could return Donald Trump to the White House.“We are preparing an internal process to prepare for all the possible outcomes of the election in the United States,” said Community Executive spokeswoman Arianna Podesta at the institution’s daily press conference, without giving further details. details and did not confirm whether Brussels had been in contact with Trump’s campaign team.

Relations between the EU and the United States have deteriorated during the Trump presidency (2016–2020) So far, Brussels and Washington have not resolved the trade dispute that the Republican started in 2018, when he introduced a 25% tariff on European steel imports and 10% on aluminum imports.

The EU responded to these measures with a round of tariffs on many American products. including bourbon whiskey, peanut butter, cranberry, or orange juice.

Although Brussels has reached a truce on this with the current US president, Joe Biden, they have not yet reached an agreement to end the dispute. and, in fact, the vice president of the European Commission and head of trade, Valdis Dombrovskis, believed two weeks ago that it would not be resolved before the elections in November.

DEFENDING

During Trump’s term, the EU also saw the need to improve its defense, a fact that accelerated the war in Ukraine.

In this sense, the EU’s high representative for Foreign Affairs, Josep Borrell, called the statements made by Trump on Monday “absurd” on Saturday during a campaign rally in South Carolina (United States), saying they would support Russia’s attack on NATO allies without spending enough on defense.

“Let’s be serious: NATO cannot be an à la carte military organization. It is not a military alliance that works based on the situation of the president of the United States in a few days,” said Borrell, in press statements.

In this regard, Finland’s president-elect, Alexander Stubb, blamed Trump’s controversial remarks on “strong election rhetoric in the United States.”.

“The rhetoric of the election in the United States is different, it is more powerful. “I think that this time it is worth maintaining moderation and calm and betting on NATO membership,” he said at a press conference. Stubb, winner of Sunday’s presidential election.

Stubb stated that he wants the United Sto tates to be less divided, especially on issues of foreign policy and security, although he appeared to understand the statements of the former American president.

“Donald Trump is right that NATO countries have an obligation

spend 2% of GDP on defense. At the moment, Finland fulfills these obligations very well because the spending is 2.3%,” he added.

Finland is the youngest member of the Alliance, after closing its membership in record time last year, and the European country with Russia’s longest border with the EU, at 1,340 kilometers.

“For us, foreign policy is an existential issue because of Russia. But we are a provider of security, not a consumer of security, and we will continue on that line,” he said.

Stubb, who will take office on March 1, describes himself as an “avid supporter of transatlantic cooperation,” although he defended the idea launched by his predecessor, Sauli Niinistö, that an additional European NATO is needed.

“I think the American commitment to the Alliance is very important, but in this political situation where the entire European security order is disrupted by Russia’s aggression in Ukraine, we must make sure that in Europe we take care of our defense,” he said.

Regarding relations with neighboring Russia, he assured that he does not see it possible to resume high-level political dialogue with Moscow while its offensive in Ukraine continues, although he is ready to play a mediating role if asked. with European or NATO partners.

World Nation News Desk
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