President Donald Trump’s aim of making America great again with tougher policies on immigration and trade are doomed, according to the official in charge of the European Union’s trade affairs.
“Those who in the 21st century think that we can become great again by rebuilding borders, reimposing trade barriers and restricting people’s freedom to move, they are doomed to fail,” Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström said in a speech. “Building a wall is not the answer.”
Europe’s politicians need to keep their spirits up after being thoroughly disoriented by the election of a man who rejects the open markets and borders that the EU has relied on to drive both prosperity and political integration. They’re also acutely aware of the new President’s support for the U.K.’s decision to leave the EU, and they resented his prediction at the weekend that more members would follow the U.K. out of the union.
Malmström admitted that there was – for the foreseeable future – little hope for the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, a deal launched by President Barack Obama to help U.S. digital and service-based companies crack an EU market that’s still tightly protected.
“The election of Donald Trump seems likely to put our EU-U.S. negotiations firmly in the freezer, at least for a while,” she said.
Malmström glossed over the visceral resistance to TTIP in much of Europe, notably Germany, due to concerns about data privacy and the scope for private companies to sue national governments in independent tribunals.