Transatlantic free trade zone affects Russia's interests
The US and the EU will remain strategic partners, despite the incongruence of positions in some key issues. Thus, the Europeans do not agree with the position of the new US administration, which banned citizens of seven countries from entering the United States. In addition, the EU continues to uphold the principle of free international trade, while Washington withdrew from the Trans-Pacific Partnership. However, as the European Commission Chief Spokesperson, Margaritis Shinas, said, "The United States is a strategic partner of the EU, because the intensity and scope of our relations in various areas are important not only for our bilateral relations, but also for global stability."
Meanwhile, as the Head of the International Economic Organizations of the Center for Economic Research of the Russian Institute for Strategic Studies, Vyacheslav Holodkov, suggested, the US-European economic relations may affect the interests of Russia. This is about the Transatlantic Free Trade Area with the EU (TTIP), which involves the creation of the world's largest free trade zone with a market of 820 million consumers. It is expected that the project, in addition to the US and EU, will include Canada, Mexico, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Iceland, as well as candidate countries for EU membership.
"Trump has repeatedly made negative statements about the Trans-Pacific Partnership, the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), but he never mentioned the negotiations which are underway with the European Union on the establishment of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership. And this partnership affects us. 50% of our foreign trade is tied to the EU," Holodkov said.
In addition, he saw a political component in the negotiations on the TTIP: "When Victoria Nuland came to Kiev, she told the Kiev leadership:" We are currently negotiating on the Transatlantic investment partnership. When we will create it, we would like Ukraine to join us, just as it signed an association agreement with the EU".
In this regard, Holodkov asks: "Who would be next after Ukraine if this partnership is created?" The expert does not rule out that it will be Belarus. "The Obama administration clearly intended to destroy our Russian integration projects in the post-Soviet space, in particular, the Eurasian Economic Union, using the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership. What will be Trump's position on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership? Yet he has not said a word."
However, the expert commends the new US president, "Trump, whose experience lies mainly in the field of business, looks at America's development as a businessman, he considers the costs, expenses, gains. He does not look through the eyes of an international financier-speculator who makes money solely on speculation in the stock market or commodity exchanges, but works hard for his money."