What Trump Means for Brexit, China, and the EU

by | Jan 30, 2017

What Trump Means for Brexit, China, and the EU

by | Jan 30, 2017

The easy pattern of prolonged trade negotiations has been rudely interrupted by President Trump. Even before he had become president, his anticipated presence in the White House changed global attitudes and expectations. In Europe, EU officials are wrong-footed, while British trade officials cannot believe their luck.

EU officials were prepared to punish the UK knowing they could prevaricate for ever, because the EU should never, in its view, be challenged by a member state. The UK has been a disruptive member, and other members must be discouraged from following Britain’s exit at a time when there are increasing signs of rebellion by Europe’s “deplorables.” Britain, having shocked its own establishment by voting for Brexit, faced the prospect of protracted negotiations with the EU that could, in the words of one British official who has since resigned, take a decade or more.

President Trump has dramatically changed the balance of power in Britain’s trade negotiations with the EU. It is probably no accident that the British approach was finally declared after Trump won the presidential election, and his attitude to trade with Britain was more friendly than Obama’s. The British negotiating strategy is remarkably sensible from a government that hasn’t until now believed in free markets, at least to the extent that it is prepared to back genuine free trade as a policy. Effectively, the EU has been told by Prime Minister Theresa May that Britain will propose, and they can take it or leave it, because Britain’s focus is now to trade relatively freely with the rest of the world. And if they don’t agree, Britain will cut corporation taxes to compensate British-based businesses from EU intransigence.

The threats from members of the European political establishment sound increasingly desperate, signaling they are waking up to the weakness of their position. They claim Britain will be cut out from the EU’s existing trade agreements. But when you look at them, you see there are only two of them with other G20 members — South Korea and Mexico. The rest are with small states, damning evidence of the failure of the EU to interact with the rest of the world. Big businesses in Europe are now switching sides, having unsuccessfully argued against a hard Brexit. They are now lobbying European governments instead for tariff-free trade with the UK.

Read the rest at the Mises Institute here.

Our Books

latest book lineup.

Related Articles

Related

Best of the Best, Worst of the Worst

Best of the Best, Worst of the Worst

The past few weeks have seen a predictable reaction to the release of (yet another) survey of “experts” regarding the proper ranking of United States presidents. Apart from the inherent problems any such attempted ranking poses, problems my colleague Hunter DeRensis...

read more
TGIF: Immigration in an Nth-Best World

TGIF: Immigration in an Nth-Best World

We live in an nth-best society. It's neither fully libertarian (though libertarians disagree over exactly what that would mean) nor totalitarian like the Soviet Union, Nazi Germany, Fascist Italy, Maoist China, or North Korea. It's somewhere in between, closer to...

read more
Our Bloody Cultural Psychosis

Our Bloody Cultural Psychosis

Imagine someone who did not know the difference between right and wrong and felt that he could, and should, take anything he wanted from anyone he wanted because, as far as he could see, there was no reason not to. If he wanted to buy something but was low on funds,...

read more
Biden’s Yemen Policy Isn’t Working

Biden’s Yemen Policy Isn’t Working

For the last several weeks, the country of Yemen and their Houthi government have been in the news far more than they were during their war with Saudi Arabia. This is because the Houthis began to attack ships in the Red Sea, a frustrated reaction to the United States’...

read more
No Man Controls Everything in a State

No Man Controls Everything in a State

The constant screeching about various “strongmen” from America’s media and think tank classes seem to have created a widespread misunderstanding about how governments, or really any large organization, work. We perhaps see this the most with Russia, where we hear the...

read more

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This