Trump bluffs, Juncker capitulates

26 July 2018

Trump bluffs, Juncker capitulates

Foto: SP

The SP is opposed to the deal which European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker has signed with Donald Trump. Explaining the party's hostility to the deal, SP Euro-MP Anne-Marie Mineur said: “It's a slap in the face for the widespread resistance to the TTIP, the free trade treaty between the EU and the US, negotiations over which were halted in 2016. Instead of making agreements on fair and sustainable trade, Juncker has committed the EU to importing more liquid gas and more soya, as well as running down all barriers to trade and product standards, These are of course designed to protect the consumer and the environment. Juncker and Trump also want to intensify trade in services, chemicals and pharmaceuticals.

Trump threatened to impose fresh import tariffs on the auto industry. Juncker has now reacted by promising, during his visit to Washington, that the EU will import more liquid gas and more soya. “The use of fossil fuels presents a threat to the Climate Accord,” says Mineur. “Moreover, a great deal of the liquid gas comes from the extraction of polluting shale gas. Importing soya is also problematic. We'd be better off growing our own fodder sustainably in Europe. That would be better for our farmers and for the environment, as well as avoiding major transport costs. The fact that 90% of US soya is genetically manipulated means that this deal also forms a threat to the EU ban on GMOs.”

Mineur supports attempts to de-escalate the trade war, but in her view the conflict must be used to initiate a discussion of the negative consequences of globalisation. “Instead of continuing with a race to the bottom at the cost of people, animals and the environment, the EU and the US should be working towards trade agreements which meet the needs of that huge group of ordinary people who gain nothing from globalisation, and which prioritise sustainability,” she argues. “It isn't the multinationals' profits which should be central here. Trade must be sustainable and it should benefit the 90%. Instead, Juncker has given Trump just what he wants, while the EU has only Trump's word to cling to. The trade conflict with China has shown how much that's worth.”

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