tv Quadriga - The International Talk Show LINKTV June 9, 2018 2:00pm-2:31pm PDT
♪ elinda: welcome to "quadriga." as we speak, some of the world's powerful leaders are simply in canada. even before the meeting began, there were positions of acrimony with u.s. president donald trump's decision to impose tariffs on steel and aluminum coming from mexico, canada, and the eu, but divisions in europe make a united front evever more difficult to achchieve. firstump's america
nationalism become the template for other countries, including within the eu? "trump goes it alone -- europe at a loss?" -- that's our topic on "quadriga" today. it is a pleasure to welcome laura von daniels, a senior fellow at berlin-based ink tank -- think tank swp. she says the eu is rightly doing a remarkable job at protecting and veryests challenging times -- the eu is currently doing a remarkable job at protecting its interests. says there has been a trade imbalance between the so. and eu for a long time, european complaints over tariffs are unjustified. ,inally, we have daryl lindsey
manager of spiegel international , who suggests this may turn into a full-fledged trade war. are we likely to see the g7 plus 1? nto a g6 if so, what implications does that have for europe and for the world as a whole? laura: first of all, i approve a all thoseders of countries coming together to try to have a dialogue. it is often forgotten that there are plenty of topics to talk about that are really important. i think that there is a pretty good chance also for other countries, even if the u.s. is following a different path on and and leading a more
protectionist policy approach right now, there is still a chance that all those other countries that are united in the g7 and g20 and the member states of the wto will be able to carry on and stick to the global liberal international order. melinda: do you really think they will get to any topics at the summit besides trade? laura: i sure hope they will because there are really big crises like the ones in syria and eastern ukraine, other topics that are really relevant that we should be talking about. topics like equal rights s for womemen. ifif you look at the a agenda fr the g7, also climate change. these are really the topics we should be talking about rather than getting into thghtsose fi the u.s. is giving its official justification for notsing these tariffs, unfair trading practices, actually, but national security by proceeding under what is a fairly obscure national law rather than under standard wto
procedures. is the u.s. ultimately thumbing its nose at its allies and perhaps at rule-based international order in general? actl: sure, trump needed to quickly, so he needed a reason. i believe the reason -- we do not have an equivalent under tariffs, and that has to be solved. for many years, the u.s. claimed this many years, like other administrations like obama but also clinton. george bush junior, for instance, claimed this many times and nothing happened. the wto acts quite slowly and takes years and years. for instance bananas with guatemala -- took many years. we need an open discussion as we sit here, for instance, and i think that is healthy. takingnt trump is only
one point 5% of overall trade. he could have talked about other goods like cars, automotive. he did. he started off with a minor now, thebelieve, and europeans have to be unified and have to speak with one voice, think these talks will proceed, and i think we will get to a very positive and -- end. to come back to a couple of the points you made it a moment, but first, looking at the big picture, it was shortly after the last g-7 summit that took place in italy that donald trump announced the u.s. would be leaving the paris climate agreement. many europeans see that, together with these tariffs, together with the u.s. retreat from the adventure he -- iran treaty that the u.s. had signed up to, as the u.s. turning its back on n the entire internatitl order that was established after
the second world war. do you see a risk of that? daryl: taken together, there's a very real risk of that happening. the question a lot of people are asking now is -- is it america first or america only? all these moves represent moves away from the multilateral system america actually built in the postwar era out of its own interests. the real danger is if this grows youra tit-for-tat, if response -- if your response -- responds,-- if europe and if things get serious. you will see which going through europe because germans have a different perspective because automobiles are the engine of the economy, whereas france has a different take. they would like to be very firm with trump, but france doesn't even r really sell automobobileo the unitited states. they've been absent from the market for decades.
the automobile sector is very much the potential for an escalating trade war that you talk about. >> neither trudeau norma crone managed to talk the president out of imposining tariffs -- .either trudeau nor macron donald t trump has lauaunched an assault on international trade, and those affected are pretty upset. >> the fact the president has moved or wood with these tariffs will not just hurt canadian jobs. it will hurt u.s. jobs as well. >> i believe it is important f r the eu to make a rapidid and appropriate response within the framework of the wto.
aree believe these tariffs not complying with debbie tio -- wto regulations. >> trump's tariffs -- is this how america treats its friends? all know, donald trump is a bargainer, a dealmaker. in that context, are the europeans perhaps taking these tariffs to seriously? is this perhaps trump's opening bid in a poker game? laura: it might be, but i would say the european commission is taking a very rational and proportionate approach right now. they declared early on that there need to be some countermeasures, but they are proportionate. now, of course, everyone is will be the next
step on the u.s. side, but we also have to consider a significant amount of opposition cars andr tariffs on automobile parts within the u.s., and it would be much more hurtful if trump took that action. melinda: i want to talk more about that in a moment, but to jewel deeper on what we heard earlier, it is an argument that has been made by the trump administration that there are great disparities if you look overall at eu customs duties on american imports compared to overall american duties on imports from the eu. i did check the numbers last numbers.e official wto on average, the difference is about 1.7%, not all that large, it would seem. what is your estimate on that? you are a trade expert. it's a typical rhetorical trick on the side of donald trump and his advisers, to just
take one piece out of the whole picture and then blow it up. especially the automobile peace, as i understand it. there there is a real disparity. laura: not even all automobiles. there is a much higher tariff on pickups in the u.s. imported anywhereeu than on else in the world. it tends on what parts of the picture you look at. generally, it makes very little sense. this has often been said in the whole debate on tariffs -- it makes no sense to just look at trades and goods and not consider the significance of trade surplus and services that the u.s. has these are the -- the u.s. has with regard to the european union. in your daynow that job, besides working with republicans overseas, you are involved in the financial sector . that means you are involved in cross-border financial flows.
are you not concerned that the risks of this action could be a lot greater than the potential gains? we are talking about only an overall difference of 1.7%, is it really worth risking a trade war? ralph: first of all, no, it's not. i don't see a trade war, first of all. second, i want to add something to the figure. i have figured the trade could be up to 2.5%, but let's put it 2%.een 1.7% and there is still quite a difference referring to the volume of trade, first of all. melinda: referring to duties. to actual tariffs as they stand on a broad range of products -- ralph: and it was at one point negotiated. absolute correct.
at one point, trades developed in moore, so there is an imbalance, in a think it needs to be fixed. i think it was a very mild shock , and i think we should now go into talks. just like as you mention it, a bid in a poker game. i believe we should go back to tt ip -- melinda: the transatlantic trade agreement that the u.s. also walked away from. is a: yes, but maybe that new opportunity to renew talks. maybe you should take out the investment part. europeans are very critical l on that part, and we should also talk about trade, but that would be a good start for new negotiations. melinda: we just heard ralph freund say he does not think this could escalate into a full trade war. you did mention the possibility in your statement.
we have seen the eu, canada, and mexico now announcing what are called counterbalancing measures. that means additional targeted system within the wto that definitely would take this to another levelel. it is still largely political symbolism. these products that have been commissioner trade for the eu has selected products that are symbolic because they come from areas where trump was elected, so the idea is to directly hit that. i expressed my fears earlier. i do see a wedge being driven between europe, and if he gets more serious, a trade were could see a division between france and germany, but it's not in to have anterest trade war with the united states. it's our closest trading partner and we need to come to s some st of copper mice. if you talk to any sensible german politician, they also know some thing has to be done with the tariffs and imports and
exports. we need to find a middle ground on this, and i'm optimistic that that will happen. i just fear that with all these other unilateral factors and the schoolyard bully on the playground factor that tru represents, it's going to create aret of tensions, and you not going to negotiate with a gun is at your head. melinda: donald trump tweeted some months ago that trade wars are easy to win. do you think the u.s. can emerge frommically unscathed further escalation of this, and particularly, will are at the very least be political fallout if in fact the europeans stop buying, for example, soybeans from farmers in the midwest? ralph: certainly not. nobody is interested in a trade war, but the u.s. has in the short run more to gain than lose because the europeans are exporting more into the u.s. than vice versa. u.s. based
manufacturers use steel and aluminum that are imported. that means the u.s. may see more expensive exports. ralph: yes. in the beginning, i believe it is more symbolic. i believe in the long run, it will also hurt the u.s. economy, but in the beginning, because europe is more dependent on the north american market, which is the largest market in the world. the interest is more on european side, and i think trump is playing that card. this if yough in on would. i asked earlier about the prospects for the rules-based order. one u.s. commentator said when tariffs were first announced that this would later be regarded as the day the wto died -- the wto. is there something to that argument? problem we's another tend to forget, and that's u.s. policy toward the wto and the court system.
a disputes the settlement of the wto, and the u u.s. is currentny blocking nominations of judges, and that's a major problem because in any kind of dispute settlement process that we might end up in between the u.s. and eu and also canada, mexico, and youthe other countries, don't have a functioning dispute settlement system, so that is the bigger problem, i would say, rather than talking about .ariffs on steel we should probably focus our attention on that problem. then the u.s. is sort of leaning back and saying we need reforms, but then there are no proposals for what kind of reforms they are looking for, and that's a problem, so we need to get back eithernegotiation table at the g7, g20 level or in wto membership and discuss those problems. it's true those problems date trump'sther than presidency.
melinda: is there a potential argument to be made that this could even strengthen the wto in the sense that china is suddenly saying there are good things about the wto, and interestingly enough, the trade commissioner has now filed a complaint not only against the u.s. actions but against china in the wto for its practices on international intellectual property. are we seeing perhaps at least some parties reawakening to a sense of how important the wto actually is? that isgain, i think another symbolic move. while the eu has also lodged a complaint against the united and china at the same time, so it shows that we take the core issue with steel and other things, which is actually china, very seriously, so we are goingg to have a two-pronged approach. we will challenge you, but we will also challenge china, and i think there's also a willingness within the eu to reform the w
tio. we just have to get down to the table -- i say we. i'm an american. we need to get back to the table and have a serious conversation. generally speaking, we have to keep a close look on the interests of each country. certainly, we are claiming free trade in fields where we are very competitive, and in fields we are not competitive, we are not claiming free trade. of course the chinese want to export their steel and aluminum and germans want to export their have higheuropeans tariffs on agricultural goods and so on. for their own competitive industries -- that is typical. let me ask us to take a look at the implications of all of this for europe as a whole. some people say this is a watershed moment, not only for the chance atlantic and wto, but also for europe.
nationalism and populism are on the rise here as well, making it harder than ever for the eu to unite on a strong course of action in response to american tariffs. >> italy's new prime minister governmentlition that includes s an antiestablishment party and a right-wing party. opposed to eus austerity measures to reduce the country's debt. in spain, prime minister rajoy was tossed out of office last week after a vote of no-confidence. his conservative people's party has been plagued by corruption scandals for years. in slovenia, the center-right anti-immigration slovenian democratic party won the most seats in recent parliamentary elections. the sdp focused its campaign on refugee policy. is t the european union losing s grip?
melinda: let me pass that question right on, coupled with coming back to what you said earlier -- you see a potential for divisions, particularly, and within, between france germany if this trade conflict does heat up. perhaps you can say something about that as well. daryl: ic two scenarios. what is trump's overall actions are playing into the populist of europepe. it could energize them and further divide the european union and protectionism is something that would also be pursued by the populists in different countries. it feeds into that, but at the same time, you also see people coming together. the question is going to be france and germany are basically playing one role ratcheting up the pressure on the united states, but which of these will prevail in the end? it is too soon to tell. weinda: donald trump, as
said, sees himself as a dealmaker. in the past couple of weeks, it has sounded as if germany's economic minister sees himself the same way. he has set a couple of things we might think coulderve as the basis later on for pushing the eu to make a deal and perhaps undermine its own commitment to a rule-based order. far as is, but as know, anything done by the german government and the french government in its attempt to negotiate with trump and his administration coordinates with the european commission. melinda: do you think it will stay that way going forward? laura: i truly hope so. i think what needs to be done is a strong economy like germany with a powerful chancellor like merkel news to have -- she needs to understand the needs of everyone involved and there will not be a common european position unless we as germans
needs of theo the southern countries and also the central eastern european countries. that's the only way to be unified. also you have to do the internal eu bargain first. melinda: does that internal eu bargain get even harder to make, given the role of the new u.s. ambassador here? he said this week that he sees his role within his new post as .mpowering right-wing movements that is a very unusual thing for an ambassador to say. with that amount to inciting the divisions we just saw? ralph: absolutely. he crossed a red line for diplomats. i think that is not appropriate behavior. we should stay in touch with
other countries and we should also negotiate with other countries on foreign policy. we should never influenced the mystic politics. floridans who live in theng to put pressure on administration to influence the domestic politics of cuba -- it never worked out. i think the ambassador should learn his lesson. daryl: he never should have given the interview to breitbart. it is viewed as a propaganda channel, like the american version of rt. melinda: we have seen the chancellor, angela merkel, this week giving several interviews in which she continued to take a somewhat ambivalent position in forrd to the proposals european reform that have been put out by french president macron.
for that reason, she's being criticized by some as essentially weakening the eu at a moment when it badly needs decisive leadership. let me ask all of you briefly to trumpisme question, if amounts to a test of europe's maturity and if europe can pass that test. laura: i think merkel needs to think of the long-term consequences of this reluctance to have more european integration. begives you more leverage to ambivalent, but now is the moment where you actually need to make a decision, and the coalition agreement was pretty on where this government is going to go in the european integration direction, so they should follow through on what they already decided. daryl: merkel needs to do far more. she needs to be courageous or we will be headed for a deep crisis in the eu. ralph: absolutely.
she is also my chancellor. i think she should also get the pieces together to talk with one voice, but not on germany's bill. macron is always saying overall costs should be split up proportionally. that means germany has to pay the biggest bill. we are politically united, but tonomically, everybody has work at home. melinda: thanks very much to all of you for being with us here today, and thanks to all of you for tuning in. see you soon. ♪
michelle: welcome to "fokus onn eurorope." i'm michelle hener. turkey is only weeks away from snap elections called by the ruling party in april. whoever is elected will assume sweeping powers. critics say president recep tayip erdogan, the clear favorite, is determined to use the upcoming vote to once and for all silence any dissenting voices. these turks are part of the gulen movement, a group that is openly critical of erdogan. despite living and working in kosovo, they were kidnapped and returnrned against their will o turkey.