The trans-Atlantic relationship has suffered during the four years of Donald Trump’s presidency, largely due to Trump’s hostility toward the European Union, which he saw as a trade competitor, and toward the NATO alliance, which he saw as a costly liability. The tensions that have arisen under Trump have made the debate in Brussels and across the EU over European strategic autonomy all the more urgent, especially in the past year.
With the arrival in the White House of President-elect Joe Biden, many observers expect the return of smoother relations between the U.S. and its European allies. But what will that mean for Europe’s efforts to become more geopolitically autonomous? And will the tensions that have roiled trans-Atlantic ties under Trump go away?
In this transcript of her big picture Trend Lines interview, Dr. Nathalie Tocci argues that in three key areas—trade, tech and China—the answer might prove to be a disappointment for those expecting total convergence on the two sides of the Atlantic. Dr. Tocci is the director of the Rome-based Institute of International Affairs and special adviser to the EU’s foreign policy chief, Josep Borrell. While serving in the same role under Borrell’s predecessor, Federica Mogherini, Dr. Tocci wrote the EU Global Strategy and worked on its implementation.