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    US President Barack Obama

    Obama Embarks on Final Europe Tour Amid Shattered Dreams, 'Trump Effect'

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    US President Barack Obama begins his final tour of Europe Monday (November 14) amid talks that his great legacy - the US-EU Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) is dead in the water following the victory of Donald Trump in the US presidential elections, November 8.

    Not long after becoming US President, April 2009, Obama made a visit to the Czech Republic, where he delivered a speech in the capital, Prague saying the US and Europe must:

    "Focus on our common interests, not on occasional differences; and that we reaffirm our shared values, which are stronger than any force that could drive us apart. That is the work that we must carry on. That is the work that I have come to Europe to begin."

    Seven years on, Obama is leaving behind a Europe that lies in shock following the victory of his successor, Donald Trump. His final journey, which will take in Germany and Greece, is supposed to be a transitionary one paving the way for a smooth passover to Trump.

    US President Barack Obama meets with President-elect Donald Trump to discuss transition plans in the White House Oval Office in Washington, US, November 10, 2016.
    © REUTERS / Kevin Lamarque
    US President Barack Obama meets with President-elect Donald Trump to discuss transition plans in the White House Oval Office in Washington, US, November 10, 2016.
    ​​Unfortunately for Obama, he told Europeans in the run-up to the election that Trump was "unfit" to serve as president and there has been no love lost between the two.

    Obama now sees his great plan to create the world's biggest free trade zone between the EU and the US — TTIP — in tatters. It has already hit growing opposition within Europe — until as recently as Spring 2016 — he had hoped to have it signed up by the end of his term.

    Anti-Establishment Sentiment

    Trump made it clear throughout his presidential campaign that he was against trade deals that led to an exodus of industrial and manufacturing jobs from the US.

    He railed against the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) — with Mexico and Canada, which he described as: "the worst trade deal in history."

    Trump has slammed the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal — a broad agreement that includes Mexico, Brunei, Chile, New Zealand, Singapore, Australia, Canada, Japan, Malaysia, Peru, the United States, and Vietnam (but not China).

    "The TPP would be the death blow for American manufacturing. It would give up all of our economic leverage to an international commission that would put the interests of foreign countries above our own," Trump said.

    ​With Trump staunchly against such trade agreements, Obama's dream of TTIP lies shattered. Meanwhile, despite the fact that Obama's visit is intended to reassure European of the continued "common interests" and "shared values," many will see Obama's trip as a reminder that many European nations are facing a similar threat from the rise in right-wing nationalism and anti-establishment sentiment that say Trump swept to power.

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    Tags:
    trade deals, NAFTA, Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), 2016 US Presidential election, European Union, Donald Trump, Barack Obama, Europe, United States
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