The European Union and the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) are intensely negotiating a possible investment treaty. The United States is awaiting the results.
The United States will be studying and analyzing the trade talks that the European Union and the CCP will have this week when they meet to reach an investment treaty.
Importantly, U.S. trade officials are particularly interested in reaching a trade agreement with the CCP. The meetings with the CCP began when President Barack Obama was still in office, continued during the early years of President Trump’s administration, and when they seemed to reach an agreement, the CCP Virus pandemic broke out, overshadowing bilateral relations until the current openly declared trade war.
President Trump put much of his political strategy on the line to achieve a more equitable trade and investment agreement with the CCP. This is why any concessions made to the EU by CCP authorities are likely to provoke a hardening on the part of President trump in his trade war with the CCP.
The South China Morning Post reported that Kelsey Broderick, China analyst at Eurasia Group, said, “If the US sees China making serious reform concessions to the EU, it might smell blood in the water and push harder on reaching an agreement with Beijing.” and added that “It would likely incentivize US actors to push China hard on phase two commitments.”
Julia Friedlander, the C. Boyden Gray senior fellow and deputy director of the Global Business and Economics Program at the Atlantic Council, said, “The U.S. and EU share intent in their respective negotiations and would be best served by acting in parallel.”
“Success by either party opens the door for the other to demand protections the World Trade Organization currently does not afford due to most favored nation rules and China’s developing country status, and to build momentum for necessary changes to the World Trade Organization itself,” Friedlander added.
Chad Bown, a trade economist with the Peterson Institute for International Economics (PIIE), agreed that the United States and the EU are in agreement with his complaints about the CCP.
“Most of the issues that the EU are negotiating over with China in a bilateral investment treaty would likely turn out beneficial for the U.S., if China agreed to take on the commitments,” said Bown, a former senior international trade and investment economist at the White House Council of Economic Advisers, as reported by the British Daily Express.
Everything seems to indicate that, if the White House manages to achieve a rapprochement with the European Union, they could act together and generate much more pressure on the CCP when it comes to negotiating all kinds of concessions.
Since the beginning of the Trump administration, the relationship between the United States and the European Union has not been the best, but some signs could indicate that joint action against the Chinese Communist Party might be feasible. Last month, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo spoke at a press conference to his European counterparts and invited them to act together with the United States toward a common goal and to combat the abuses of the CCP.
Pompeo said, “I’m starting to see even more realism on the continent as it relates to the threat of the Communist Party in China. We should address that challenge together—as transatlantic partners have met many challenges. And that’s what I want to focus on today,” He added, “Clearly, there is a transatlantic awakening to the truth of what’s happening.”