Josef Braml: "Trade war is possible between Germany and the US"
On August 2, US President Donald Trump signed in to a law a bill on sanctions against Russia, Iran and North Korea, previously approved by the both chambers of Congress. For German politicians, Washington's decision was a blow, as Germany's economic interests appeared under threat. According to a poll conducted by The forsa Institute for Social Research and Statistical Analysis, 83% of German citizens consider the new American sanctions against the Russian Federation to be erroneous, and only 6% support this decision. 77% of Germans surveyed believe that the United States thus is trying to strengthen its economic position.
The expert on America of the German Association of Foreign Policy (DGAP), Josef Braml in an interview for the Merkur commented on the sharpened contradictions between Europe and the US in connection with the recently introduced by Washington new package of the anti-Russian sanctions. Braml believes that a reason for the recent sanctions, adopted by the US, is the American domestic policy. "The reason is a struggle between Congress and Trump. He did not want sanctions, but Congress is fed up with his unauthorized actions, so the Congressmen decided to curb Trump's foreign policy. This is a completely new phenomenon,’’ the expert said.
"Of course, they will be justified by good and worthy motives, but in fact it is about the domestic policy. The fact that the sanctions are beneficial for the US gas and oil industry, has encouraged even obstinate senators to support them. Unfortunately, all this contradicts our economic interests. The key issue is the Nord Stream-2 project,’’ said Joseph Bruml.
Speaking about the motives of the US actions, the expert noted: "It is absolutely clear that Americans want to sell their liquefied gas to Europe and replace Russia as the main gas supplier. An uncompromising ‘America First’ policy is being conducted.
According to Braml, the United States is imposing sanctions hitting the German economy. "Now we must decide whether we will bounce back or respond, I hope for the second. A trade war is possible because of this situation,’’ the political scientist predicted.
Braml believes that the current sanctions will help, first of all, President Putin to strengthen his domestic political position. "Now he has scapegoats for his own economic mistakes. Trump understands this as well. That is why he and his team wanted to weaken the sanctions. I think that the US has done itself a disservice by the new sanctions, because now the existing anti-Russian sanctions regime is in danger of falling apart. I do not think that the states that are attacked now, will feel committed to the general sanctions. The Americans will feel the consequences of this decision,” the DGAP expert concluded.