Washington/Paris: French Foreign Minister, Jean Vyes Le Drian, appealed that President-elect Joe Biden should make efforts to stop the trade conflict between the United States and Europe, which is spreading venom in the US-Europe relations. At the end of last year, the Trump administration had declared to impose taxes on the goods imported from Europe. After that, Biden’s close associates received a reaction expressing displeasure over the Investment treaty signed between the European Union and China. Against this background, the appeal made by the French Foreign Minister becomes significant.
French Foreign Minister Jean Vyes Le Drian appealed that the taxes imposed on steel, digital technologies, Airbus and wine and their increasing prices add poison to the US-Europe relations. President-elect Biden should establish a dialogue with the European Union and find alternatives to resolve this trade dispute. Bilateral relations will progress only if the United States, Europe and France succeed in resolving these trade disputes. This can take a long time, but the option to suspend the dispute can be exercised for the time being.
Donald Trump had adopted an aggressive stand against Europe after taking over as the US president. He had expressed deep regret over the European contribution in NATO and the European policies regarding China. Claiming that the United States is suffering huge losses in the US-Europe trade, President Trump had asked Europe to amend its policies. But Europe advised Trump to avoid a conflict. Ignoring the European advice, Trump took a stand of an open trade war and imposed taxes on European goods.
When Barack Obama was the President of the United States, Joe Biden, who was his Vice President, had taken a favourable stand towards Europe. Even during a meeting held with the European countries, Biden had advised the European countries not to worry about the US-Europe relationship two years ago. It has been revealed that many officials from the Biden administration are in favour of normalising relations with Europe, and this is comforting news for Europe.
But at the same time, it is believed that relations with China could be a point of contention between the United States and Europe. The Trump administration had initiated an aggressive diplomatic conflict with China against the Coronavirus pandemic background. Even if indications are that the intensity will of this aggression will reduce during the Biden administration, the diplomatic conflict will continue. Biden has said that there is a need of a united front against the Chinese activities. The participation from the European countries will be vital for this front.
The investment agreement signed by Europe with China raises questions on European participation, which could further tension the tension between the United States and Europe. Against this background, the statement of the French Foreign Minister becomes significant.