This website is an archive of the work of Marietje Schaake in the European Parliament between 2009 and 2019. Marietje can be reached at

Carnegie Europe asks: Is Europe Ready for a Trade War with Trump?


A selection of experts answer a new question from Judy Dempsey on the foreign and security policy challenges shaping Europe’s role in the world. Please find Marietje Schaake's response below: 

The EU is ready to protect our interests when needed, but the priority should be to avoid a trade war, or to even hint as much, especially with our strongest ally. In fact, the EU and United States should share the ambition of challenging unfair trade practices, such as steel dumping by China, as open societies and economies.

While we need to deal with overcapacity, the proposed U.S. tariffs are not the answer. Abusing the national security argument is especially misguided toward NATO allies. Americans and Europeans have built the WTO and the rules-based global system together. Trump can hardly expect China to adhere to the international rules he so publicly mocks and undermines. 

Trade wars cannot be underestimated. They are not “easy to win” and only know losers. It is therefore tragic that tweets with fierce allegations fly so frivolously from President Trump’s account.

Divide-and-conquer tactics, including suggestions that individual EU member states will be invited to negotiate with Trump, are despicable. The EU acquis is clear; bilateral deals are not allowed.  European unity is essential to stand up to the erratic messages from Washington, politically and diplomatically where possible and with tariffs on U.S. goods when needed.