Relaciones Transatlánticas

Las placas continentales de la Tierra se separaron y comenzaron a desplazarse hace cientos de millones de años. Pero alguien que hoy visite las capitales europeas o siga los acontecimientos en Washington bajo el presidente Donald Trump podría pensar que se está produciendo otra divergencia tectónica.

Es verdad que la desconfianza transatlántica no es nueva. Antes de la Guerra de Irak de 2003, el entonces secretario de defensa de los Estados Unidos, Donald Rumsfeld, trazó una controvertida línea entre la “vieja Europa” y “la nueva Europa”, formada esta última por los estados excomunistas que estaban más entusiasmados con la idea de seguir a Estados Unidos a la guerra.…  Seguir leyendo »

President Donald Trump and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker announce negotiations to eliminate trade tensions between the EU and US. Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images.

The European Parliament has not endorsed two negotiating mandates that authorise the European Commission to start formal trade talks with the US – and instead ended up not taking a stance. Although any resolution by the parliament would have been non-binding, the unexpected vote adds a blow to forthcoming trade talks that already face a number of challenges.

The US tariffs on imports of steel and aluminium introduced by the Trump administration in the name of national security are a major source of friction. Although the removal of the metal tariffs will likely be a precondition for the conclusion of trade talks, the fact that the EU has been willing to start negotiations with the US while the tariffs are still in place has exposed the former’s U-turn on not negotiating ‘with a gun at its head’.…  Seguir leyendo »

Watching a news broadcast in Seoul, on the second day of meetings between North Korea's leader, Kim Jong-un, and President Trump in Hanoi, Vietnam. Credit Jung Yeon-Je/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Outside the North Korean Embassy in Hanoi, a glass case displaying an array of patriotic photographs was reportedly reorganized just before Kim Jong-un’s arrival. The chairman’s portrait remained untouched at the top of the vitrine, but the images of fruit orchards and fishing boats had been swapped out for those of factories and a satellite antenna. A South Korean reporter, standing outside the embassy, observed that the new pictures seemed “tailored to fit a theme of Vietnamese-style reform and opening.”

Instead, President Trump and Mr. Kim cut short their parley, ending the summit on Thursday with no agreement in hand. Much of the American foreign policy establishment, including Democratic legislators, reacted with smug surprise.…  Seguir leyendo »

Hanoi Summit Misfires

The meeting between US President Donald Trump and North Korean Leader Kim Jong-un, held on 27-28 February in the Vietnamese capital Hanoi, was a disappointment. The parties announced that they had failed to reach an agreement. According to the post-summit statements made by Donald Trump and DPRK Foreign Minister Ri Yong-ho, the main stumbling block was the price that the North Koreans demanded in exchange for the dismantling of their nuclear centre in Yongbyon.

Pyongyang insisted that the Americans should lift their economic sanctions against the DPRK, which were detailed in five resolutions adopted by the UN Security Council in 2016 and 2017.…  Seguir leyendo »

President Donald Trump with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un as they headed to a meeting at the Metropole Hotel in Hanoi, Vietnam, on Thursday. Credit Doug Mills/The New York Times

Having participated in nuclear negotiations with North Korea, I know what failure smells like. The truncated Hanoi summit, which concluded abruptly without an agreement between President Trump and Kim Jong-un, carried an awful stench.

There were high expectations for this second meeting of American and North Korean leaders after the lack of progress on denuclearization commitments made at their first summit, in Singapore last summer. And yet, not only did Mr. Trump and Mr. Kim fail to offer more empty promises, they even dispensed with signing a joint statement, canceled their planned ceremonial lunch, and skipped the joint news conference.

This outcome shouldn’t necessarily be a surprise.…  Seguir leyendo »

There were encouraging signs leading up to the second summit between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. For his part, Trump signaled a subtle but important shift in his approach toward North Korea’s denuclearization — repeatedly saying, “Speed is not important to me” and “I’m in no rush.” This indicated Trump finally was beginning to accept what most nonproliferation experts have been saying all along: That denuclearization of North Korea will be a long and complex process that may last over a decade.

The good vibes continued through the summit, as the usually reclusive Kim showed signs of opening up.…  Seguir leyendo »

Sailing teams from Britain and China compete in a race in Sydney, Australia. Photo: Getty Images.

British Chancellor Philip Hammond’s canceled trip to Beijing highlights the difficult trade-offs the UK faces in its relationship with China.

For the Chinese government, Hammond’s efforts to boost economic ties cannot happily coexist with Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson’s remarks about sending an aircraft carrier to the Pacific and ‘oppos[ing] those who flout international law’. On top of the pressure the UK is under from other Five Eyes intelligence-sharing partners to take a tough line with Huawei’s participation in critical infrastructure, such a controversy could further damage a relationship that was already turbulent.

Seen from Beijing, China has been very clear about what it wants from a relationship with Britain, but Britain appears unable to decide what it wants from China.…  Seguir leyendo »

U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un meet at the start of their summit at the Capella Hotel on the resort island of Sentosa, Singapore 12 June 2018. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

What has happened since the first U.S.-North Korea summit in Singapore?

At the conclusion of the Singapore summit last June, the U.S. and North Korea issued a statement calling for a new bilateral relationship, a stable peninsular peace regime, efforts toward denuclearisation of the peninsula, and the recovery of U.S. soldiers’ remains from the Korean War. The statement lacked detail as to how and when these goals might be achieved. These gaps had the advantage of not setting the bar too high, but the pervasive vagueness was criticized.

The lack of clear direction from Singapore contributed to patchy dialogue through the rest of the year and – though both sides took what might be viewed as confidence-building steps – no major progress was made.…  Seguir leyendo »

Trump Meets Kim Jong-un This Week

And so they meet again. President Trump and Kim Jong-un, the ruler of North Korea, are expected to gather this week in Hanoi, Vietnam, for a second round of nuclear negotiations. Mr. Kim bested Mr. Trump at their first meeting in Singapore in June last year. And he is poised to do so again.

The reason is simple: He has a strategy and the Americans do not. The United States hopes to somehow keep the world safe from North Korea. But Mr. Kim has an actual plan to make the world safe for North Korea.

Mr. Kim’s plan — the same as his father’s and grandfather’s, and one breathtakingly revisionist — is nothing less than unconditional reunification of the Korean Peninsula under the control of his government in Pyongyang.…  Seguir leyendo »

New Trump-Kim Summit: Double Freeze Proposal Seems to Work

The first summit outlined the general framework of the new relations but the second should be devoted to solving more specific tasks. During the negotiations the sides will try to agree on specific mutual concessions. On the one hand, each side will seek to present the outcomes of the summit as its own victory, and this is much more important for Trump, since he relies on public opinion to a much greater extent than Kim. On the other hand, neither side is ready to take any actions that may affect its prestige and/or defense capability.

Both Trump and Kim are taking risks but in different ways.…  Seguir leyendo »

Since the end of the World War II, Western nations have shared the belief that international trade was a virtue. While progress has too often been lethargic, in the decades since, the United States and European nations have worked together to reduce barriers to trade.

This went hand in hand with a special bond between our two continents — culturally, militarily, as a broad alliance of free nations.

Together, progress has been achieved in the form of the institutions such as the World Trade Organization and the European Community — the forerunner to the European Union.

Trade-based agreements between the EU and the United States multiplied.…  Seguir leyendo »

President Trump with President Xi Jinping of China in Beijing last year.CreditCreditDoug Mills/The New York Times

In the United States, support for a cooperative relationship with China is evaporating fast. I increasingly hear frustration from business leaders about structural trade issues. The military is concerned about aggressive geopolitical moves by Beijing. And prominent voices in both political parties are striking an increasingly confrontational tone. Legitimate concerns have led to a vicious cycle, with each negative development further poisoning an already shallow well of good will.

The cycle has to be reversed. In the United States, the business community, policy analysts and the media should create a climate that encourages elected officials to pursue a constructive relationship. The same is true in China, albeit in a different political system.…  Seguir leyendo »

The Russian threat to European security

National elections are seven weeks away and Moldova is frankly at a crossroads. One path will take us backward, back into the bosom of a failing, corrupt Russia run by Vladimir Putin and his henchmen. Socialism has failed, politically, economically and socially; we cannot go back. The other path surges us forward — with Democratic government, transparency, free markets, jobs, economic growth and a seat at the global table that will benefit all Moldovans.

As I flew back from Washington earlier this month, I was encouraged by the ever-stronger ties between Moldova and the United States. It was my third trip this year, and I am tremendously proud of the progress in our partnership.…  Seguir leyendo »

By pulling the U.S. out of the nuclear agreement (the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, JCPOA) between Iran and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany (the P5+1), the Trump administration has brought the U.S. relationship with Iran back to an earlier, more confrontational, era. The two states have been locked in an adversarial logic ever since the 1979 Islamic revolution (though popular grievances that fuelled the Shah’s removal date back to 1953, when the CIA helped depose Iran’s popular prime minister, Mohammad Mossadegh). The fall of the U.S.-backed guardian in the Gulf, followed by the embassy hostage crisis, launched almost four decades of unremitting enmity, which only the JCPOA began to thaw.…  Seguir leyendo »

The United States just struck a trade agreement with Canada and Mexico — but what about Europe?

In August, U.S. officials reportedly pressed the European Union for a quick trade deal. Negotiations over TTIP — the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership — had come to a halt in 2017. Now, after imposing trade sanctions on the E.U., President Trump appears to have changed his mind, and an E.U. agreement is back on the agenda.

The big question is whether political elites can push an agreement forward. Popular opposition in Europe suggests any future trade negotiations between the two sides will not be easy.…  Seguir leyendo »

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani arrives at the Iranian Parliament in the capital Tehran, in August.CreditAtta Kenare/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

As the Trump administration ratchets up pressure on Iran by increasing sanctions and planning, in John Bolton’s ominous words, “other things,” it may be hard to imagine that diplomacy between Tehran and Washington is still possible. It is. Moreover, it is necessary. The Middle East cannot afford yet another calamitous war, but that is the unfortunate likelihood if the two countries don’t get off their current path.

The annual gathering of world leaders at the United Nations General Assembly later this month provides a unique and appropriate opportunity for a meeting between President Trump and President Hassan Rouhani of Iran. United Nations Secretary General António Guterres, who has cordial relations with both leaders, can and should act as interlocutor.…  Seguir leyendo »

Protesters held placards reading “U.S.A. get out of Middle East” in front of the United States embassy in Ankara, Turkey, earlier this month.CreditCreditAgence France-Presse — Getty Images

The current crisis between Ankara and Washington over the fate of the imprisoned American pastor Andrew Brunson is the culmination of a long-simmering dispute over the fundamental nature of the relationship between the United States and Turkey. Both sides want the relationship to continue but have irreconcilable expectations about whose terms it should continue on.

Washington, after years of frustration, is seeking to enforce some ground rules for the alliance by showing President Recep Tayyip Erdogan that he will pay a price for arresting innocent Americans, buying Russian weapons and ignoring the United States’ sanctions against Iran.

Ankara is seeking to challenge the “asymmetric” balance of power within the alliance, insisting that Washington can no longer dictate Turkey’s economic relations with its neighbors, ignore its strategic concerns over Kurdish fighters in Syria or expose the Turkish government’s corruption and human rights abuses.…  Seguir leyendo »

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey met with President Trump last year in New York, as shown in a photo released by the Turkish government.CreditKayhan Ozer/Anadolu Agency, via Getty Images

For the past six decades, Turkey and the United States have been strategic partners and NATO allies. Our two countries stood shoulder to shoulder against common challenges during the Cold War and in its aftermath.

Over the years, Turkey rushed to America’s help whenever necessary. Our military servicemen and servicewomen shed blood together in Korea. In 1962, the Kennedy administration was able to get the Soviets to remove missiles from Cuba by removing Jupiter missiles from Italy and Turkey. In the wake of the Sept. 11 terror attacks, when Washington counted on its friends and allies to strike back against evil, we sent our troops to Afghanistan to help accomplish the NATO mission there.…  Seguir leyendo »

En el frente comercial transatlántico se respira cierta tranquilidad desde el mes pasado, cuando el acuerdo entre el presidente estadounidense, Donald Trump, y el presidente de la Comisión Europea, Jean-Claude Juncker, alejó el temor a una guerra de aranceles declarada. Tomó a muchos por sorpresa, pero tal vez fuera previsible.

El núcleo del acuerdo es el compromiso de la Unión Europea y Estados Unidos de “trabajar juntos para la eliminación total de aranceles, barreras no arancelarias y subsidios en bienes industriales no automotrices” y de suspender mientras tanto la imposición de barreras comerciales nuevas. Pero lo más importante no es que esto abra la posibilidad de un acuerdo de libre comercio, sino que pone fin a la escalada de represalias iniciada por la decisión de Trump de arancelar las importaciones de acero europeo a Estados Unidos.…  Seguir leyendo »