Almost immediately after taking office, Donald Trump killed the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a trade agreement he assumed he hated. A year later, the United States’ former partners in the TPP struck their own agreement – without the provisions the Obama administration fought to include to benefit the United States.
Phil Levy, a senior fellow at the Chicago Council on Global Affairs and an economist in the Bush/Cheney administration, told the New York Times earlier this year, “Maybe there was some sort of presumption on the part of the president and his team that if the U.S. said stop, this process would come to a halt. What this shows is that’s not true. The world just moves on without us.”
The European Union and Japan signed a landmark deal on Tuesday that will eliminate nearly all tariffs on products they trade.
The ambitious pact signed in Tokyo runs counter to President Donald Trump’s moves to hike tariffs on imports from many U.S. trading partners. It covers a third of the global economy and markets of more than 600 million people…. The leaders did not mention Trump by name, but they did little to mask what was on their minds – highlighting how Europe and Japan have been pushed closer by Trump’s actions.
The Associated Press’ report added that there’s still some legislative work to do, but barring any dramatic developments, the agreement will benefit consumers in both the EU and Japan.
And they’re not alone on this front.
Last week, Reuters reported that Germany and China “signed a raft of commercial accords worth $23.5 billion, with their leaders reiterating commitments to a multilateral global trade order despite a looming trade war with the United States.”
A couple of days later, Politico added that Donald Trump’s antics targeting both Germany and China pushed the countries’ leaders “into an uneasy economic alliance.” The article added that in the face of “open hostility” from the American president, both countries “are realizing that it makes sense to club together.”
Or put another way, “The world just moves on without us.”