EU - Threatens Retaliation on US Auto Tariffs

Arno Froese

Sabine Weyand, the European Commission’s director general of trade and former deputy Brexit negotiatior, struck a conciliatory but firm tone in remarks during her first official visit to Washington since taking on her new role.

The longtime EU diplomat underscored the EU’s interest in avoiding a spiral of escalating tariffs on cars, aircraft and other goods, and work instead with the United States to address mutual concerns about China’s behavior on world markets.

But she said Brussels would not be bullied by the threat of sanctions that it views as illegal under World Trade Organization rules, and was pursuing a more assertive path.

“We will not negotiate under WTO illegal action. Nor will we go down the road of managed trade,” she said.

If Washington pushed ahead with its threat to raise auto tariffs to 25%, Brussels would respond with tariffs of its own, resulting in a “lose-lose” situation for all involved, she said.

She cited advances in some areas, such as setting standards and conformity assessments for trade, and on liquefied natural gas shipments, but there had been little movement on the bigger issue of industrial tariffs, she said.

Weyand said Brussels was ready to comply with WTO rules, and beyond that, to negotiate rules on aircraft launch aid for the future.

William Reinsch, a former U.S. Commerce Department official and trade expert at CSIS, said it was unclear if Washington would hold off on any tariffs to facilitate a settlement.

“This administration always takes the strongest possible front at the beginning, and if they fold, it’s at the last minute,” he said., 22 July 2019

Arno's commentary

The European Union consists of 517 million people, speaking 24 languages; 48% are Catholic, 12% Protestant, 2% Muslim. Life expectancy stands at 80.7 years. It’s the world’s largest economy, with a $21 trillion GDP, exports of $1.9 trillion and imports $1.8 trillion.

On the other hand, the USA counts a 329 million population, with 46.5% Protestant, 20.8% Catholic, and 0.9% Muslim. Life expectancy is 80.1 years. The GDP is listed as $19.49 trillion, with exports at $1.55 trillion and imports 2.36 trillion. These numerable facts speak loud and clear:

The US has a problem selling its products overseas. What is the main reason? This writer thinks it is language. In general, foreign language speakers in the United States are not appreciated, while Europe apparently says the more the better.

Example: 83% of Germany’s political establishment speak a minimum of three languages; that’s true for the business world as well. A salesman can go to China, drink tea, eat with chopsticks, and speak without an interpreter; it’s a one-on-one business conversation. According to the CIA Factbook, imports from China to Germany make up 7% of the GDP, while exports to China stands at 6.8%. Germany plus another dozen European nations have a higher labor cost than the USA.

How does this relate to proposed auto tariffs? The answer is found when looking back. After the first and before the Second World War, millions of Europeans thronged the entrance points to the United States, speaking dozens of languages. That in turn resulted in America being able to sell their products easily, mostly throughout Europe.

The next question: how does this relate to prophecy? First, we must realize that the entire world—regardless of religion—is subject to the god of this world. The only escape is through faith in Jesus Christ, who paid the price for every sin ever committed on planet earth. The rest of the world has to fulfill the prophetic Word, as we can read in Revelation 17:13: “These have one mind, and shall give their power and strength unto the beast.” That is an undeniable fact taught throughout Scripture; the world will be one. Those who refuse will be on the losing side, at least economically.

Arno Froese is the executive director of Midnight Call Ministries and editor-in-chief of the acclaimed prophetic magazines Midnight Call and News From Israel. He has authored a number of well-received books, and has sponsored many prophecy conferences in the U.S., Canada, and Israel. His extensive travels have contributed to his keen insight into Bible prophecy, as he sees it from an international perspective.

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