Foreign affairs MEPs got reassurance over deeper EU and US ties
The new developments in transatlantic relationship following Donald Trump’s election were debated by Foreign affairs committee MEPs on Tuesday with Adam Shub, Chargé d’Affaires of the US Mission to the European Union. He noted that the draft EU-US trade deal is under revision, but reassured MEPs over the continued US commitment to partnership and cooperation with the EU, support to NATO and maintaining sanctions against Russia.
“The EU and the US have never had such a strong and fruitful transatlantic partnership as in these two-and-a-half years of the past parliamentary term,” said David McAllister (EPP, DE), Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee, also expressing his hopes a valuable relationship as well as US international commitments regarding Iran, crisis in Ukraine or Syria to be carried on by new administration.
Mr. Shub explained the mixed views of the new US administration could be explained by the transitional period, as some important post are yet to be filled. However he confirmed that the US is committed to strong partnership with the EU.
A majority of MEPs thanked Mr. Shub for reassurance to deepen transatlantic relations, noting that parallel foreign policies would not be welcomed. They wanted to know if sanctions against Russia were being reviewed, as well as US commitments to NATO, especially in the Baltic.
Mr. Shub stressed that the US stands next to Europe on these issues, confirming that the Minsk agreements must be fully implemented in order to solve Ukrainian crisis and the new US administration is not planning to lift sanctions against Russia, which is still pursuing aggressive course of actions. Moreover, the US is following closely the debate over North Stream II and the Gazprom antitrust case, he added
Several MEPs asked what would be the next steps in EU-US trade deal (TTIP), after Trump’s widespread criticism over NAFTA and the withdrawal from TPP.
Mr. Shub admitted that “the withdrawal from TPP was a bit of a surprise, however there is still support for it in Capitol Hill”. The same support is also there for the TTIP, which was supposed to be the gold standard in trade agreements, however US is reviewing it, he said. Moreover, he pointed out that TTIP was supported by the Obama administration and with election in the US and in several key EU Member States it was probably best to take a break from negotiations in order to better address concerns from citizens on both sides of the Atlantic.
You can watch the recording of the debate here…