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Trans-Atlantic Scorecard

跨大西洋的记分卡

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【来源】: 布鲁金斯学会
【时间】: 2019-01-18
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We track Trump’s phone calls with the leaders of France, Germany, Russia, Turkey, and the United Kingdom, whether they have spoken or not, as well as other calls with European leaders of which we are aware. The White House stopped releasing readouts of the president’s calls with foreign leaders in July 2018. If we’ve missed a conversation, please give us a ring . Source: whitehouse.gov, elysee.fr, bundeskanzlerin.de, gov.uk, en.kremlin.ru, tccb.gov.tr/en, press reports.

Between September 1 and December 31, 2018, President Trump spoke on the phone with Turkish President Erdo?an six times (October 21, November 1, November 16, November 28, December 14, December 23), French President Macron once (October 21), and U.K. Prime Minister May once (November 9). He last spoke on the phone with German Chancellor Merkel on August 27 and with Russian President Putin on March 20.

U.S. Exports of LNG to Europe

The Trump administration has made increasing U.S. energy exports – in particular of liquefied natural gas (LNG) – a cornerstone of its trade policy. In a speech in 2017, President Trump announced that a goal of his administration would be not only “American energy independence,” but also “American energy dominance.”

Thirteen of the 28 EU member states import LNG. In 2017, European imports of LNG amounted to 5.1 billion cubic feet per day and accounted for 13 percent of the global total. The United States provided a small (4 percent), but rapidly growing, portion of the total LNG imported by the EU. The goal of U.S. LNG exports is not to replace other providers, but to allow for more competition in a sector currently dominated by Russia. The Trump administration’s criticism of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline between Russia and Germany, which Chancellor Merkel has defended as “purely economic,” stems from the potential that Russian imports bring Russian political influence to Berlin and harm the interests of Ukraine and other U.S. partners and allies.

Diversification of European energy sources away from a heavy reliance on Russia has been a U.S. foreign policy objective since the George W. Bush administration at least, and President Trump’s efforts to promote LNG exports to Europe represent a continuation of this strategy. With the loosening of restrictions on U.S. energy exports in 2015-2016, U.S. exports of LNG rapidly increased, and the first shipment of U.S. LNG to Europe arrived in Poland in June 2017. A year later, the summit between President Trump and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker saw further agreements made by the EU to increase imports of U.S. LNG. After more than quadrupling from 2016 to 2017, U.S. exports of LNG to Europe look set to grow further as more capacity is constructed on both sides of the Atlantic.

U.S. and EU Trade in Goods with Iran

A principle carrot used to conclude negotiations on the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) aimed at restraining Iran’s nuclear program was the end of many restrictions on trade and investment with Iran. The subsequent thaw brought about by the JCPOA sparked hope among European businesses that trade relations with one of the Middle East’s largest economies, called by some observers “the last, large, untapped emerging market,” would improve after several years of intense multilateral sanctions. Some hoped that this economic opening would incentivize Iran to alter its other destabilizing behavior in the Middle East.

Europe has long had stronger trade ties with Iran than the United States does. The European Union is Iran’s third-largest trading partner, behind China and the United Arab Emirates. A fraction of this trade volume exists between the United States and Iran due to the comprehensive embargo on Iran that has been in place for more than 20 years – what trade does exist consists of exempted goods, such as food, pharmaceuticals, and medical devices. Yet because of the long divergence between the U.S. and Europe over how to approach Iran, the imposition of such a strenuous sanctions regime in response to the nuclear crisis stood as a testament to the potential of multilateral cooperation.

That cooperation is now history. The Trump administration’s decision to withdraw from the JCPOA and re-impose the sanctions it waived or suspended by or before November 4, 2018 leaves the United States and the EU on opposite sides of the issue. The EU is seeking to preserve the JCPOA by maintaining at least some of the economic benefits promised by the agreement, through special banking channels among other steps, while the United States seeks to ratchet up pressure on Iran to deter its nuclear ambitions and contain its influence in the wider Middle East. The U.S. sanctions have broad reach and their reimposition has already had a significant chilling effect on European trade and investment in Iran. Overall, the disparity in trade relations highlights the different approaches taken by the United States and Europe on Iran. U.S. policy towards Iran has largely sought to address security concerns through punitive measures, while Europeans have sought to address their security concerns through economic engagement.