Over at the Endeavours Public Affairs blog, Lib Dem MEP for London Sarah Ludford looks at this Tuesday’s presidential election and what it means for Europe. Here’s an excerpt:
The Obama administration has in any case been perceived as not very interested in Europe, except as a source of financial and economic worry, with a strategic shift of US focus to the Asia-Pacific region distracting from relations with the EU. It’s a sobering cause for reflection that neither candidate has talked about Europe in their campaigns, even in the televised debate devoted to foreign affairs.
But why do we Europeans care who wins the US elections? For starters, this is because for the whole world, the US is still the dominant power, the rise of China notwithstanding. But for the EU in particular, the US is our most important political and trading partner. EU-US trade accounts for half of the global total, with mutually high levels of investment, making the transatlantic economic relationship the deepest in the world.
Work takes place continuously to sort out trade disputes and align regulatory rules, but a more ambitious step change is needed. Talks are now in preparation for significantly freeing up our trade, to boost GDP and jobs on both sides. The European Parliament has led that effort, consistently expressing its support for a transatlantic free market. It’s vital that, whoever wins the White House, we build upon an already strong foundation of cooperation through deepened business connections, mutual recognition of product standards and liberalisation of services in order to enhance growth and competitiveness. …
Just as UK deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has reiterated that ‘the UK stands tall in Washington because we stand tall in Brussels, Paris and Berlin’, so the EU stands tall in the US capital when we act united. The US has for decades supported EU integration because they know that the more capable we are the better and more reliable we are.
You can read Sarah’s post in full here.
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