Image credit: Lintao Zhang/Getty Images

January 31, 2020

America and Europe will lose to China in transatlantic trade war

By Carisa Nietsche and Sam Dorshimer

A transatlantic trade war is looming. After finally concluding a phase one trade agreement with China, President Trump is now turning his sights to Europe and is doubling down on his threat to levy more tariffs. While there was positive talk from both the United States and the European Union at the World Economic Forum, there are major obstacles to any agreement given the trade threats by Trump and all his demands for striking a deal. These threats aim to decrease the trade deficit with Europe, shape policy on Iran, and negotiate a better deal. Trump has claimed that great power competition with China is his top priority. However, effectively competing against China will require help from European allies. If the United States escalates a trade war with Europe, only China will come out as a winner.

The current trade policy with Europe has been turbulent from the start. Since 2018, tariffs have been imposed on European steel and aluminum. Last spring, Trump also called for tariffs on European autos, a threat he has renewed to pressure European allies to initiate a dispute mechanism in the Iran nuclear deal. When France imposed a technology services tax, the administration threatened tariffs on over $2 billion worth of French exports. Trump even asserted that Europe is worse than China on trade issues. Uncertainty about his tariff threats only increases the chances of an intensified ongoing trade war between the United States and Europe.

Read the full article in The Hill.

  • Commentary
    • POLITICO Magazine
    • August 12, 2019
    The U.S. or China? Europe Needs to Pick a Side

    Amid ten consecutive weeks of protest in Hong Kong, Beijing is looking to a seemingly unlikely place for support: Europe. In recent days, Chinese ambassadors across the contin...

    By Andrea Kendall-Taylor & Rachel Rizzo

  • Commentary
    • European Leadership Network
    • January 31, 2023
    European Integration’s New Geopolitical Momentum

    Offering more tangible benefits of accession prior to full membership will both keep candidate countries motivated to continue reforms and allow for a more gradual adjustment ...

    By Nicholas Lokker

  • Reports
    • January 24, 2023
    How Finnish and Swedish NATO Accession Could Shape the Future Russian Threat

    About the Transatlantic Forum on Russia This policy brief is a product of the CNAS Transatlantic Forum on Russia, an initiative designed to spur coordination between the Unite...

    By Nicholas Lokker, Jim Townsend, Heli Hautala & Andrea Kendall-Taylor

  • Congressional Testimony
    • November 30, 2022
    Opportunities and Challenges for Trade Policy in the Digital Economy

    This hearing addresses digital trade, and I will focus my testimony on the national-security problems in this area posed by China – specifically, concerns about China’s open a...

    By David Feith

View All Reports View All Articles & Multimedia