03:09 GMT +321 October 2019
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    'Peace for Everyone': How Italy Can Restore Its Clout During Trump's Presidency

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    Washington's withdrawal from the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement is the first step against globalization, which rode roughshod over not only the US economy but also the industrialized countries of Europe, such as Italy, expert Antonio Maria Rinaldi told Sputnik.

    In an interview with Sputnik Italy, Professor Antonio Maria Rinaldi of Gabriele D'Annunzio University described the US decision to pull out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement as the first step away from globalization, which he said has already caused great damage, not only to the US economy but also among the industrialized countries of Europe, including Italy.

    On Monday, US President Donald Trump signed an executive order withdrawing the United States from the TPP, fulfilling his campaign pledges.

    Trump has repeatedly criticized the free trade agreement between Washington and 11 other Pacific-Rim states, and has repeatedly voiced the necessity to replace multilateral agreements with bilateral deals that would be more beneficial for the United States.

    Commenting on the matter, Rinaldi expressed hope that another similar agreement, the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), will also be scrapped.

    "I am sure that after such a radical step by Trump, a discussion will start regarding the abolition of the TTIP, which has a negative impact on the French and Italian economies," he said, pointing the finger at the Italian politicians for failing to counter "this type of partnership."

    He also warned that "for the Italian economy, particularly the Made in Italy brand, the consequences [from the TTIP) would be catastrophic."

    "Under Donald Trump, Washington will separately communicate with each and every EU country rather than the entire EU, something that will lead to greater economic and political freedom in these countries," Rihaldi said.

    The question is whether the Italian politicians will be able to take advantage of the situation in order to boost Rome's international clout and interact with the United States without an intermediary in the face of the EU, according to him.

    "During Trump's presidency, Italy could play a key role in conducting the dialogue in the Mediterranean and with Arab countries, because historically the Italians are better perceived in these regions than the French or the Germans," he added.

    "Italy, Rihaldi went on to say, can act as a mediator to resolve the conflict in the Mediterranean in relation to the Arab world and Israel; if peace is achieved, it will be peace for everyone."

    He also said that the Italians hope for the speedy repeal of the anti-Russian sanctions now that Trump has entered office. According to Rihaldi, Italy is interested in developing trade relations with all the countries.

    "Rome considers the anti-Russian sanctions a mistake because historically, Russia is part of Europe. Those EU politicians who do not think so are making a terrible mistake," he said.

    Rihaldi added that he remains optimistic about the development of the situation because it is the interest of the whole world that Russia and the US reach a consensus and begin to cooperate.

    "I think that Trump is aware of it and that he is taking steps to implement this objective. The rest of the world will certainly benefit from Russia-US cooperation," Rihaldi concluded.

    Meanwhile, White House Counselor Kellyanne Conway said that President Trump is considering removing US sanctions against Russia.

    "All of that is under consideration," Conway said in an interview with Fox News when asked whether sanctions are going be on the table right away.

    Earlier on Friday, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov confirmed that Russian President Vladimir Putin and President Trump will hold telephone talks on Saturday at approximately 20-00 Moscow time.

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    economies, politicians, impact, globalization, withdrawal, sanctions, Trans-Pacific Partnership (TTP), Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), Italy, United States, Russia
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