Trump-Juncker deal: The big bluff

by Professor Dr Eberhard Hamer

Trump is still more a merchant than a politician, therefore he sees problems more personally and purposefully than politicians do. He has proved this for the third time now:
He had euphorically whipped up the conflict with North Korea right to the danger of war, so that in a personal conversation with Kim, he was able to appear as a bearer of peace.
Following the same pattern, he also sought détente with Russia in conversation with Putin.

“The European negotiation party has apparently again acted incompetently and to the detriment of Europe in its negotiations with Trump, as it did in the TTIP negotiations; or Juncker, who had to be supported by the American president, had again enjoyed too much. In any case, Trump has again achieved his goals, proved himself the stronger negotiator.”

Trump also solved the economic warfare he had engaged in with the EU in a relaxed conversation with Juncker. Both of them allowed themselves to be celebrated for this in the US and in Europe.
The “agreement” of 26 July between Trump and Juncker was not an agreement but a dictate in favour of the US and at the expense of Europe:
Europe is committed to increasing the purchase of liquefied natural gas from the US in future, and to building oil terminals in Europe for this purpose. The partners eliminate all barriers to trade in mutual products and also in standards.
Europe enters a coalition of US economic war against China. The rules of the World Trade Organisation WTO are to be reformed against the technology theft of China.
It was apparently of particular importance to Trump that Europe should reduce its gas market with Russia (Nord Stream 2), and that the US should export large quantities of US LPG to Europe. Because of this insane agreement, Europe’s consumers may in future have to accept 30% higher gas costs. Russian gas is available at 180 dollars per 1000 m³, while US liquefied gas costs at least 240 dollars.
Things are similar in relation to the highly acclaimed agreement to remove all trade barriers. It refers mainly to agricultural products, and is especially designed to help the US farmers, who are at the moment landed with unsellable soybeans worth 12.3 billion dollars, due to the Chinese counter-sanctions in their trade dispute with the US. They are accordingly upset, but are to vote for Trump again in the autumn. But nobody knows what we Europeans are to do with the heaps of soya.
Europe would also have to agree to shedloads of cheap US hormone meat and accept the full range of hazardous US chemical poisons and pharmaceuticals that have not been approved in this country  for good reason. Here TTIP, against which European citizens have fought to the bitter end, is to be withdrawn through the back door and in favour of the US.
Trump can at any rate claim to have fought and won for American farmers and chemical producers. If, on the other hand, it were proven that Europe will not accept Washington’s dictum, Trump would have every reason to tighten sanctions against the EU after the 4 November midterm elections.
The same applies to the agreement of an EU coalition with the United States in the economic war with China. Just recently, the Europeans allied themselves with China against the American sanctions, now the EU (through Juncker) is again promising a European partnership against China. If the Americans turn back against Europe after the 4 November elections, we will have lost our partner China and would stand alone again.
So the exuberant praise of the Trump-Juncker deal offered in particular by the German US courtiers (Altmaier: “The EU has negotiated magnificently, secured millions of jobs,” Maas: “The united appearance of Europe has brought success,” Merkel: “Excellent result”) was nothing but a political measure of stultification without any expertise behind it. The experts of the German economy see things exactly the other way round, namely the agreement as insubstantial; and they accuse Juncker of having unilaterally complied with the US (Lange, IHK: “The car duties are not off the table”, “The threat continues,” SME Institute Hannover: “No problem solved, European consumers betrayed and illusory success granted to the US for the 4 November”).
The European negotiation party has apparently again acted incompetently and to the detriment of Europe in its negotiations with Trump, as it did in the TTIP negotiations; or Juncker, who had to be supported by the American president, had again enjoyed too much. In any case, Trump has again achieved his goals, proved himself the stronger negotiator.     •
(Translation Current Concerns)