Since the earliest days of the European integration project, European leaders have valued U.S. support and recognized the U.S. role in helping to ensure European security and prosperity. EU and European officials widely view NATO and the U.S. security guarantee as central to maintaining peace and stability on the European continent.
Many consider United States-European Union Relations or U.S.-EU trade and investment ties, by virtue of their size and interdependence, as crucial to European economic well-being.
Furthermore, as asserted in a September 2018 European Parliament resolution, many EU policymakers regard a cooperative U.S.-EU partnership as “the fundamental guarantor for global stability” and as being in “the interest of both parties and of the world.”
United States-European Union Relations traditionally have been undergirded by shared common values and a commitment to the post-World War II international order based on alliances and a rules-based, multilateral trading system.
Given the long-standing U.S. backing for and partnership with the EU, President Trump’s largely critical views of the EU have surprised many Europeans and raised concerns about what these views may portend for future U.S.-EU relations.
European Council President Donald Tusk conveyed the anxiety of many in the EU when he stated in January 2017 that “the new administration is seeming to put into question the last 70 years of American foreign policy” and remarked that potential changes in the U.S. posture toward Europe could pose further challenges to EU cohesion, stability, and security.
On the economic front, the EU is deeply concerned about what it regards as protectionist U.S. trade policies—including the imposition of tariffs on imports of steel and aluminum from the EU—and President Trump’s apparent view of EU trade practices as being detrimental to the United States.
In mid-July 2018, President Trump reportedly asserted that the EU was a U.S. “foe” for “what they do to us in trade,” although he also noted, “that doesn’t mean they are bad … it means that they are competitive.”
Some European analysts speculate that contrary to past U.S. views, the Trump Administration might be indifferent to the collapse of the EU if this were to allow the United States to negotiate better bilateral trade deals with individual member states.
President Trump has been vocal in his support for the UK’s decision to leave the EU and for a future U.S.-UK free trade agreement following Brexit.
Many in the EU greeted the July 25, 2018, accord between President Trump and European Commission President Juncker on renewing United States-European Union Relations economic cooperation as a positive first step toward de-escalating tensions on trade and tariff issues. EU officials hope that U.S.-EU discussions will lead to an end to U.S. tariffs on steel and aluminum products and prevent