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The Consequences of a Trump or Biden Win for Transatlantic Trade

October 19, 2020
This is part of our series on the policy implications of the 2020 U.S. presidential election for U.S.

This is part of our series on the policy implications of the 2020 U.S. presidential election for U.S. allies—you’ll find the rest of the series HERE.

Whether Donald Trump or Joe Biden wins the U.S. presidency, the next administration will have significant decisions to make on trade while addressing an economy wracked by the coronavirus pandemic.

The president will need to decide whether to continue the policies of the last four years or  to adapt them, particularly in four critical areas: the World Trade Organization and the multilateral rules-based system, bilateral trade agreements, the China challenge, and the transatlantic economic relationship.

A reelected Trump may not be as bad as Europe fears, while political constraints on Biden will make it difficult for him to deliver as Europe hopes. Their choices could also be significantly circumscribed by the makeup of Congress, which could shift from the divide between a Republican Senate and a Democratic House to Democrats controlling both chambers.

Trump has wrought a fundamental change in transatlantic economic relations—and not for the better. At the very least, trust must be restored and that will take serious efforts from both sides.

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Photo Credit: Alexandros Michailidis / Shutterstock