European dismisses US campaign rhetoric on trade, and wants the world to follow its standards


A reader sent me a link to the first item below:

EU trade chief: U.S. campaign rhetoric won’t stop TTIP trade talks

March 10, 2016

Europe’s top trade official plans an ambitious push to seal a sweeping U.S.-European free trade deal this year even as bitter U.S. presidential primary races sour voter sentiment towards trade.

With many candidates, including Republican front-runner Donald Trump and Democrat Bernie Sanders, voicing strong opposition to the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade pact, its European counterpart, still under negotiation, has largely flown under the radar.

European Union Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom told reporters on a visit to Washington on Wednesday that major negotiating rounds for the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) were scheduled for April and July, with more informal meetings in March, June and May.

March 10, 2016

Malmstrom said she was determined not to let U.S. campaign rhetoric against free trade jobs stall the TTIP negotiations.

“Without entering into debate with one individual, I don’t share those arguments,” she said. “In good trade agreements, there are a lot of economic advantages.”

It was widely reported in the last day or so that Hillary Clinton lost the Michigan primary to Bernie Sanders because of his harsher positions on international trade (though her email scandal also likely played a role):

March 9, 2016

Democrat Hillary Clinton’s unexpected defeat in Michigan has laid bare growing voter anger over international trade, raising warning flags for her ahead of a possible presidential election showdown against Republican front-runner Donald Trump.

Trump has built his campaign on pledges to scrap international trade deals and do more to protect American workers from foreign competition, tapping the same groundswell of discontent that propelled Clinton’s rival Bernie Sanders to victory in the Midwestern state on Tuesday.

Clinton remains heavily favored to win the Democratic nomination. But the setback in Michigan could signal further troubles in upcoming primaries in other Rust Belt states such as Ohio, forcing her further to the left on economic issues and possibly influencing her choice for an eventual running mate, strategists said.

The populist distrust of trade deals, exists in Europe as well.  The photo at the beginning of this post comes from Europe. Yet, European leaders realize that for economic reasons, they need trade deals. so they will push for them.  Ignoring not only some who complain about them in Europe, but also trying to figure out how to work around American political leaders.

Many European leaders see not only Bernie Sanders, but also Donald Trump as a threat, but European leaders plan to push for trade deals.

Last week, the German Vice Chancellor, who does not like Donald Trump’s positions on trade, said he wants “globalisation in a fair way,” in other words, he wants Germany/Europe to be able to negotiate trade agreements like Germany wants, not what someone focused on the interests of the USA wants.

Even if someone like Bernie Sanders or Donald Trump win, the Europeans will make their own trade deals around the world–with or without USA involvement.

Why is TTIP controversial?


Much of the concern is about the regulatory aspect: that it would lead to lower standards of consumer and environmental protection and safety at work. A group of 170 European civil society organisations said in a statement that regulatory co-operation as envisaged in TTIP would result in “downward harmonisation”.

U.S.-E.U. pact could redefine global trade standards

Recently, the United States and the EU have embarked on an ambitious new venture with the potential to reshape our relationship and redefine the nature of global commerce. The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) aims to eliminate many remaining barriers to trade between America and the EU, and if structured properly will help to spur a new wave of economic growth on both sides of the Atlantic.

The European Commission, for its part, has been promoting the trade deal, which would remove custom duties and harmonise EU-US regulations and standards.

It expects TTIP to increase EU economic growth by €119 billion a year.

The Europeans want the world to accept their regulations and standards and TTIP Is part of that.

The EU has been working for manyyears to develop various standards for manufacturing and manufactured goods. Many of the “standards” of the European Union will be adopted by nearly all of the countries of the world. Notice something from 9 years ago:

EU wants rest of world to adopt its rules

Financial Times – Feb 18, 2007

Brussels wants the rest of the world to adopt the European Union’s regulations, the European Commission will say this week . A Commission policy paper that examines the future of the Union’s single market says European single market rules have inspired global standard-setting in areas such as product safety, the environment, securities and corporate governance.“Increasingly the world is looking to Europe and adopts the standards that are set here,” the paper, seen by the Financial Times, says.

The paper calls on the EU to encourage other jurisdictions to follow suit – for example by “promoting European standards internationally through international organisation and bilateral agreements.”

This strategy, it claims, will help European businesses beat their rivals abroad since it “works to the advantage of those already geared up to meet these standards”.

The EU’s drive to establish itself as the pacesetter for worldwide business regulation could well lead the bloc into conflict with the US and other trading partners…

Some critics of the European approach argue that the Union’s stance on issues such as GM foods may also reflect a desire to protect the region’s commercial interests.

However, as the Commission paper points out, the sheer size and wealth of the Union’s single market mean that few corporations can afford to ignore it. By harmonising the rules for a market boasting 500m consumers, the Union has set standards “which partners then have to meet if they are to benefit from the single market”, it says.

“[The single market] gives the EU the potential to shape global norms and to ensure that fair rules are applied to worldwide trade and investment. The single market of the future should be the launch pad of an ambitious global agenda.” The Commission paper forms part of an ambitious review of the Union’s single market – widely seen as one of the proudest achievement of European integration. Thanks to product harmonisation, common business rules and the erosion of national trade barriers, the single market means that goods, services, capital and people can move freely among the EU’s 27 member states.

The above standards and developments, some of which are now part of TTIP, will help set the stage for the EU to fulfill many prophecies.

The Bible tells of a vast economic power that will rise up in Europe and cause many to prosper (Revelation 18). Many in Europe in general are working towards that goal, despite biblical warnings of being part of it (e.g. Revelation 18:4).

Donald Trump’s bombastic style and many of his statements are offensive to the Europeans (watch also the video Could Donald Trump be Apocalyptic?).  Bernie Sanders strong anti-trade rhetoric is a concern for European leaders.

Irrespective of the outcome of this US presidential election, leaders in both parties are getting European leaders upset.  Upset enough for them to try to figure out how to ‘get around’ the USA while gaining economic advantages where possible.  This will not bode well for the USA.