Vince Dhimos answered a question at Quora.
What's actually going on between Europe and the US?
Vince Dhimos, Editor-in-Chief at New Silk Strategies (2016-present)
Trump has sabotaged relations with Europe.
His trade wars and bullying have been portrayed positively in the Western msm, but it is all nonsense. The economic figures are phony (for example, while Trump cites high stock prices as a sign of economic health, economists tell us this is a sure sign of a dangerous stock bubble in the making). Every economist knows that trade wars are always a lose-lose proposition and Trump’s wars are further evidence of this.
As in the rest of the world, Trump has tried to bully Europe into taking a back seat economically while making America great again.
He has threatened tariffs on European autos. And while he has supported Brexit, he is now trying to bully the UK into refusing to cooperate with Huawei in their 5G project, claiming falsely that the Chinese equipment is full of spyware and spy devices. This is pathetic because there is no evidence of this whatsoever. But it resonates with voters in Appalachia.
Via his ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell, he has tried to bully Germany to refrain from buying German gas, in a transparent ploy to sell overpriced US LNG to Germany. In fact, he and his cronies in Congress have slapped third-party sanctions on the Russian Nord Stream 2 pipeline project, forcing the main pipeline layer Allseas to pull out, leaving the Russians with only one — Russian — ship to lay the pipe and delaying completion by several months. But Russia predicts this pipeline will be finished this year, bringing mutual benefits to Europe and Russia. America is the loser. Foiled again.
The fact that this is not working is beside the point for Trump, for whom the game of politics is everything.
Trump has done all this to please his constituents, who know nothing about economics but think that presidents should be tough guys working for the good old USA and firmly against the world. It reminds me of a Chinese folk tale of 2 soldiers who met in a bar and decided to see who was toughest. Each one took out a knife and began cutting strips of flesh from his own arm and eating it, both of them praising the exquisite taste of the delicacy. They continued until they lost consciousness and when the waiter came round to check on them he found them lying on the floor bleeding profusely from their wounds. They both died that night from blood loss.
But the movie is not over yet. With US-European relations lying in ruins, the Europeans are forced to strengthen their relations with Russia and China. This is hurting the US economy but good for Europe and Asia, and it is just the beginning.
Largely thanks to Trump’s negative influence, Putin is working successfully to involve Europe, especially Germany and France, in solving the Middle East crises. Thus, a conference was held in October between Erdoğan, Putin, Macron and Merkel, in an effort to bring peace to the Syrian province of Idlib.
On January 12 of this year, in the lead-up to a meeting of European leaders on Libya, Putin and Erdoğan, who are on opposite sides in the Libyan conflict, joined in an initiative to implement a peace plan for Libya. This is another of many examples of Putin’s gift of bringing opposite sides together to solve common problems. Even as Trump shines in his role of making enemies of old friends. Goes to show you everyone is good at something.
Indirectly, Trump was a god-send to Russia but — at variance with Democrat conspiracy theories — it wasn’t on purpose.