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Focus euroatlantico, n. 12 (aprile-settembre 2019)


The second issue of the 2019 Euro-Atlantic Focus begins, as usual, with an analysis of the state of play in the transatlantic relationship (supplemented by a number of graphs in the appendix). The EU-US relationship continues to be fraught with tensions under the Trump Administration. Although no major public rift has emerged in the past few months, the US and Europe remain far apart on such issues as how to deal with Iran, whether to re-admit Russia into the G7, climate change and Brexit. In the meantime, a pillar of European security, the INF Treaty, eventually expired this past summer, even though few seem to have noticed. The first essay focuses on the main item in the troubled transatlantic economic relationship, namely the aggressive use of tariffs by the Trump Administration. Fabrizio Botti is sceptical that the ongoing EU-US negotiation over the reduction of trade barriers can succeed, and warns that the EU would incur costs not only because of a contraction of its exports to the US, but also as a consequence of the weakening of the global trade system. The ambition to strengthen the international role of the euro attests to the growing mistrust on the part of the Europeans in the lingering desire by the US to keep exerting its global leadership in line with the consultation and cooperation standards that have underpinned the transatlantic alliance for decades. However, as Nicola Bilotta explains, turning the euro into a competitor of the dollar is a tall order indeed. The historical primacy of the US dollar rests on structural factors, which the EU cannot hope to change unless it advances to a higher level of economic-financial and political-military integration. In the third essay, Ester Sabatino analyses recent advancements in European defence industry cooperation. Sabatino focuses especially on two important initiatives (PESCO and the European Defence Fund) and assesses whether Washington’s protestations that US companies are being unduly excluded from the European defence market are legitimate.

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