Tallinn University hosted a panel discussion
On February 28th Tallinn University hosted a panel discussion “US-EU relations in the Trump era”. The panelists were Sven Mikser the minister of foreign affairs, Siim Kalls a former prime minister and EU commissioner as well as associate professor of International Relations Matthew Crandall.
The event was moderated by sponsored by Civitas, the Reform party youth as well as the Social Democrat party youth. Overall the panelists were not ready to give any overly pessimistic projections about the future of EU-US relations yet. EU-US relations have had challenges in the past (Iraq war, financial crisis) and have still remained strong. However the TTIP (Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership) is no longer likely under President Trump. Siim Kallas in particular expressed concern at Trump’s protectionist tendencies and concern was also noted about his appeared lack of interest in being the leader of the free world. Trump is skeptical of multilateral institutions and prefers bilateral relations.
It was mentioned that it is early and so it’s hard to say what will happen for a number of reasons, first and foremost is Trump’s lack of foreign policy background. This means that the role of his advisors will be especially important. At this point it Is not clear whether he will listen to nationalist voices such as Steve Bannon or more globalist voices such as Secretary of Defense James Mattis.
For more on what Trump’s foreign policy could mean for the Baltic states , check out Matthew Crandall’s article recently published with the Foreign Policy Research Institute.