09:37 GMT24 September 2020
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    In an interview with Euronews, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has yet again called trade relations with the EU "unfair," while at the same time pressing the allies to ditch China's tech giant Huawei. The issue is also expected to be discussed by President Donald Trump and UK Prime Minister Theresa May in London.

    Adam Garrie, a geopolitical analyst and director at Eurasia Future, based in the UK, has discussed the ongoing trade tension between the EU and the US, a post-Brexit trade deal, as well the Huawei controversy touched upon in Pompeo's interview.

    Sputnik: Mike Pompeo said on Monday that “We can’t sell our agricultural products in most countries inside the European Union yet but the European Union can sell their products into the United States — that’s not fair, that’s not reciprocal." What is your take on it?

    Adam Garrie: On this point Pompeo is correct. The EU's agricultural policies run contrary to the principles of free trade and a rules based order of international commerce. Brussels gives such heavy subsidies to EU farmers that European agriculture is effectively a state run cartel with private management. Making matters more insulting, whilst EU tax payers have to foot the heavy bill, the commercial agriculturalists get to keep their handsome profits. Making matters even more unfair is that non-EU agricultural products are heavily discriminated against in terms of entry into the EU's single market. This of course means less consumer choice and less competition in terms of retail prices. It's a poor situation and it is all due to the EU's woefully obsolete economic model.

    Sputnik: In your opinion, what is the EU's stance in the ongoing situation and how is it being justified?

    Adam Garrie: Thus far the EU has been very stubborn about modernising its approach to agricultural subsidies and protectionism. The EU likes to talk a great deal about free trade and a rules based system of international commerce but in reality, the EU is an economic "fortress Europe" that does not want to genuinely open its markets to countries from other continents.

    READ MORE: Theresa May to Confront Trump Over Huawei's Role in UK 5G Network — Reports

    Sputnik: In your view, what steps should be expected from the US in order to alter the current situation?

    Adam Garrie: The US is almost certainly going to put further pressure on the EU with more tariffs and non-tariff trade barriers against European imports into the American market. In particular, Trump has spoken about slapping heavy tariffs on European car markers whose vehicles are very popular in many parts of the US. This is in many ways Washington's major trump card against Europe.

    Sputnik: Which European countries, in your opinion, are a priority for the US in terms of trade and the economy?

    Adam Garrie: The US has for example a strong and growing strategic relationship with Poland whilst in the Trump-Merkel era, relations with Germany tend to be poor. But since EU trade rules are negotiated from Brussels, when it comes to getting more US goods into Europe, these talks will ultimately come down to Brussels and Washington rather than Washington and individual EU member states. That said, German car makers will probably lobby Brussels to give the US much of what it wants as companies like Mercedes-Benz, BMW and Volkswagen don't want to be priced out of the lucrative American market.

    Sputnik: Mike Pompeo also mentioned that the US intends to work on a free trade agreement with the UK right after Brexit succeeds. How do you assess the trade negotiation success of the UK and the US? Can this relationship be called 'mutually beneficial'? If so, then why?

    Adam Garrie: A US-UK FTA would be a classic win-win and a great way to motivate sceptics in Britain to finally go for a clean break Brexit. When and if Brexit happens, I believe that a US-UK FTA is highly likely.

    Sputnik: Reportedly, one of the crucial points of discussion during the Trump and May meeting will be the situation with Huawei. What are your predictions regarding the British decision on the telecommunications giant? How likely is it that Trump will be able to convince the UK to impose sanctions on Huawei?

    Adam Garrie: Just as the EU model of controlling the trading relationships for 28 nations is ridiculous, it is equally ridiculous for the US to tell other countries not to purchase high quality Huawei hardware. That being said, the US will put a great deal of pressure on the UK over this matter. The US could potentially go so far as to withdraw an offer of an FTA over Huawei even though some middle of the road compromise may well prevail.

    READ MORE: Pompeo Explains Why Trump Called Europe 'Foe' While Courting EU to Ditch Huawei

    Sputnik: What is the likelihood that Trump will meet with, in his view,  the most promising candidates  for the post of British Prime Minister (Boris Johnson and Nigel Farage)? How can such a meeting affect the image of the candidates? In your view, what would be the most important things to discuss?

    Adam Garrie: If Trump meets with Boris Johnson and Nigel Farage, it is virtually guaranteed that they'll talk about the importance of rejecting a so-called Brexit In Name Only (BRINO). In respect of Johnson, Trump will make it clear that the US favours him as the next UK Prime Minister and as such, Trump will let it be known that a Johnson premiership is one step closer to an FTA with the US. In respect of his even closer friend Nigel Farage, Trump will likely push for Farage to be part of the negotiating team that the UK sends to Brussels. This is what the Brexit Party has demanded and Trump is on record endorsing such a move.

    The views and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the speaker and do not necessarily reflect Sputnik's position.

    The views and opinions expressed in the article do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.


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