Since the election of President Trump in 2016 and the adoption of his ‘America First’ trade policy, the transatlantic trade relationship has been experiencing turbulent times. Although the trade and investment links between the US and the EU are deep and extensive, the imposition of US tariffs – and retaliatory tariffs by the EU – threatens to diminish economic prospects on both sides of the Atlantic, damages
transatlantic political ties, and undermines the rules-based international trading system. But since July 2018 there have also been some positive signs that could mark an important turning point. If a new phase in the bilateral trade relationship can be launched, this could potentially lead to a deeper integration of the transatlantic marketplace, re-cement the US–EU relationship, and help address the shortcomings of the architecture and rules of global trading. As the US and the EU decide which way to move their trade relationship forward, the stakes are high for both sides, and indeed for the rest of the world.
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