Trump's behavior could further discredit U.S. image
Azhar Azam
Editor's note: Azhar Azam works in a private organization as a market & business analyst and writes about geopolitical issues and regional conflicts. The article reflects the author's opinion, and not necessarily the views of CGTN.
The U.S. behavior towards its European Union (EU) allies has equivalently been intrusive, but unfortunately, this domineering Washington's mindset is spiraling under the Trump administration. Washington and Brussels have been long-standing allies but Trump has been impulsively drumming the EU since his canvassing for the president.
Diplomatically, the truculent U.S. government contends that its European allies are free to make their sovereign purchases, but pragmatically, it has never vacillated to influence their decision-making capacity and has frequently prevented them from taking an independent line.
In an interview to the Sunday Times, a British newspaper, the American president encouraged the UK to refuse to pay 39 billion pounds Brexit divorce bill and “walk away” if Brussels does not bow to Britain's demand.
He further said that it was too late for Britain to follow his advice and “sue” the EU to give Britain greater “ammunition” in the talks.
Earlier in a pave-the-way trip for Trump, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo made a four-nation trip to Europe to make EU allies understand the risks the U.S. claims are associated with buying Huawei equipment and dealing with Iran, or get ready to bear the consequences.
Trump has also been blowing up the U.S. EU partners in the past at will – slapping tariffs on their aluminum and steel, calling them “delinquent” for not meeting the defense spending mark, and warning them on trade with Iran.
So, it's the time for Trump to escalate the trade war and jolt the EU economy.
United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo (L) meets High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini in Brussels, Belgium, May 13, 2019. /VCG Photo

United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo (L) meets High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini in Brussels, Belgium, May 13, 2019. /VCG Photo

Earlier, EU trade commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom intuited the trade war escalation between the U.S. and the EU and alerted the bloc's trade ministers that the U.S. president may hit European companies and products with billions of pounds in tariffs as early as in July or August.
But Brussels will retaliate strongly just as it did on steel and aluminum previously. EU officials have already made it clear to Washington that the bloc would slap 20 billion euros of tariffs on U.S. goods if the Americans are going to tax EU autos.
This time Trump's tariff apparatus is not intended to strike a deal with EU but to enforce it on proscribing Huawei in the region and enact Washington sanctions on Iran.
Trump's prior 180-day deadline to negotiate with the EU on reducing car exports to the United States also elaborates his dictatorial attitude even towards the American allies.
As a matter of fact, EU is largely beleaguered for its dogma to distance itself from Trump's swathe of attacks on Beijing and for its repeated refutation to lean to the U.S. demands over restricting Huawei's business operations and trade with Iran.
And on both issues, the UK too is supporting the EU as Britain, France, and Germany are developing a special purpose vehicle INSTEX that aims to facilitate trade between the EU and Iran, bypassing the U.S. sanctions.
Flags of the EU and the U.S. /VCG Photo

Flags of the EU and the U.S. /VCG Photo

China isn't just looking at the proceedings. As the trade tensions between China and the United States dazzle the world, Chinese Vice President Wang Qishan just concluded a visit to Germany and the Netherlands.
Wang's trip to two important EU countries is crucial since he has formerly headed the trade talks with the United States.
Beijing and Berlin have strong trade ties. According to the Chinese ambassador to Germany Wu Ken, Germany has been China's largest trading partner in Europe for 43 consecutive years while China has been the biggest trading partner of Germany for the third successive year. The bilateral trade between China and Germany reached nearly 200 billion euros in 2018.
China and Germany are on the same page on Iran too. As both China and Germany are the signatories of Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, the 2015 Vienna nuclear deal, and are critical of U.S. policy on Iran, it is highly unlikely that Secretary Pompeo would have gained any positive feedback from Berlin on Iran or Huawei.
For Trump, any pact that bypasses the United States or benefits the U.S. adversaries is void. Therefore, he moans about the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline – which runs from Russia to Europe across the Baltic Sea – accusing Germany of putting the European energy security at risk by working with Moscow.
Rainer Seele, head of the Austria-based oil and gas company OMV, lashed out at Washington for trying to "dictate" the energy policy to its EU allies, blaming the United States desire to secure markets for its own gas supplies. He also urged Europe to protect the independence of its own countries.
Clearly, the United States is falling short of allies to deter China and with Trump's continuing sporadic behavior, could quickly find itself with a discredited image as well.
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