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EU-US trade rhetoric

EU-US trade rhetoric“Don't let yourself be fooled,” is EU Trade Commissioner Peter Mandelson's message to American voters. In an interview for BBC's Hardtalk, which was excerpted to the Financial Times, Mandelson argues that promising disengagement from certain parts of the global trading system in order to win votes is dangerous. Implicitly critiquing views expressed by Democratic Presidential hopefuls Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, he said “It is irresponsible to be pretending to people you can erect new protection, new tariff barriers around your economy in this 21st century global age and still succeed in sustaining living standards and jobs. It is a mirage and they know it.”

Mrs. Clinton made headlines earlier in the year saying that she would renegotiate the North American Free Trade agreement, once signed by her husband in an effort to protect American jobs. Both Senator Obama and Clinton have said they would “punish” China by supporting a bill that would introduce trade tarriffs on the country, to compensate for an undervalued Yuan Renmibi.

To this Mandelson says: “”It is very irresponsible in my view to pretend to people that we can disengage from international trade, we can create barriers around our economy and then be surprised when people retaliate by doing the same,” he said. “It is going to lead us into a vicious spiral of beggar-thy-neighbour policies which will take us decades back in terms of trade growth.”

The EU Trade Commissioner is undoubtedly worried about whether or not he can count on Democrate assurances that upon the election of a President from its ranks the difficult (and thus far unsuccessful) Doha Trade Round negotiations would not be threatened.

 

Author

Cathryn Cluver

Cathryn Cluver is a journalist and EU analyst. Now based in Hamburg, Germany, she previously worked at the European Policy Centre in Brussels, Belgium, where she was Deputy Editor of the EU policy journal, Challenge Europe. Prior to that, she was a producer with CNN-International in Atlanta and London. Cathryn graduated from the London School of Economics with a Master's Degree in European Studies and holds a BA with honors from Brown University in International Relations.

Areas of Focus:
Refugees; Immigration; Europe

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