A much more ambitious venture in the works since 2013, TTIP should go to Mr. Trump’s chopping block next. Europe’s leaders have been tepid in pushing the deal, intimidated by those hundreds of thousands who have thronged European cities to protest what they apparently see as a vast capitalist conspiracy to impoverish workers, poison unwary consumers, and despoil the environment. In Germany, where the agitation has run highest, the favorite target is American-made “chlorine chickens” that are given a quick disinfectant bath and rinse after slaughter. Actually, you imbibe more chlorine in an inadvertent gulp from a public swimming pool than you would from gobbling an entire American fowl.
Another fear has been for European culture with a capital C. TTIP, so some protesters claim, would do away with publicly financed arts, movies, and TV, plus fixed prices for books. It doesn’t matter that these traditional privileges are off-limits for the negotiators; the enemies of TTIP contend that these will be steamrolled by America. The “elites” are cowed, and the German economics minister has declared TTIP “dead.”
Without the deal, Audi, Fiat, and their workers will have to go on producing two separate lines for the U.S. and EU markets to satisfy differing national safety standards—like tail lights with subtly different lens colors. Hence higher production costs, which translate into higher prices, less demand, and fewer jobs. On the upside, French farmers won’t be able to infect American gourmands with non-pasteurized cheese.
So the Europeans should ready their thank-you notes for an incoming president who has vowed to give first priority to “the jobs, incomes, and security of the American worker.” If Trump axes TTIP along with TPP, the notes should read: “Thank you for burying TTIP for good and taking the onus of sabotage off our shoulders.”
2. Cozying up to Vladimir Putin’s Russia: France, Germany, and Italy chafe under the sanctions imposed on Russia over the Crimean grab and the de facto partition of Ukraine with the help of local surrogates. The trio have paid a high cost in lost trade with the country. Enter The Donald.
As campaigner, he had spoken lovingly of Mr. Putin (and vice versa). He seems to envision a grand bargain with Russia. So perhaps the sanctions would go—a nice gift to the Europeans who didn’t want to rile the Bear to begin with. Russia is so near, and the U.S. so far. And hasn’t Trump declared NATO “obsolete”? So why not race Trump to Moscow to make their own deal? That way, Putin could dictate the terms of the relationship to both Europe and America.
In this case, only the “Easties” would refuse to sign the thank-you note—some of the new democracies that shed the Soviet yoke 20 years ago. The Baltics, once part of the Soviet Union, would sink into despair if Mr. Trump struck one of his famous deals with the Kremlin, as would Poland with its a long history of victimization by Russia. Yet even within the former Soviet bloc there are countries like Bulgaria and Hungary, who are dependent on Russian energy, should be delighted to follow the 45th president on the road to accommodation.