Amir Hossein Askari, in an interview with the website of the Strategic Council on Foreign Relations, referred to the French President’s remarks that Brussels should adopt the “Made in Europe” strategy in order to react to global changes, as well as the protectionist policy of the US administration towards its companies, which is completely legitimate, and stated: Europe has become seriously dependent on the US since the Second World War, and although it has tried to have its own independent global influence in power equations, there is no trace of Europe’s historical role.
He stated that during the Trump era, the dignity of Europe was seriously damaged, and added: Now the most important challenge for Europe is in the field of economy. This union got the worst score for independence in the field of technology and is considered highly dependent in this regard. In this respect, for example, we are witnessing the US pressure on Europe to reduce economic exchanges with China; although Europe tried to become independent in the field of electronics related goods, it still failed.
Recalling that the United States and Britain do not want to share the share of the world economy cake with Europe, especially in the field of defense industry, the analyst of European affairs said: In the post-Brexit period, France, along with Germany, is trying to revive the economic structure of Europe against the United States and Britain. Although the idea of labeling goods with the title “Made in the European Union” was also proposed in 2014, in recent years, especially after the war in Ukraine and due to the concern about the migration of European industries to the US and countries that provide cheaper energy to industries, they attracted more attention to themselves.
Askari added: The concern about the wave of migration of European industries to use the subsidies of the US administration and its cheaper energy has caused European authorities to repeatedly emphasize the need to support European industries and preserve the European industrial fabric, especially in relation to the situation of European electric car manufacturers and other clean manufacturing industries in this continent. Even Macron held talks in this regard during his trip to Washington last month, and it was decided that the White House would grant exemptions to European industries regarding discriminatory laws in order to satisfy European allies.
The Director of the Research-News Center of European Studies, emphasizing that Europe expected the United States to give them concessions, like Mexico and Canada, to have access to its market, noted: The United States and the European Union have formed a working group to examine the details of the US law in order to provide more opportunities for European industries to benefit from the advantages of the US computers and not lose the US market.
He said: According to Thierry Breton, the Commissioner of the Internal Market of the European Union, while the wholesale price of gas in Europe is 5 to 7 times higher than in the United States and the price of electricity has increased 5 times over the past 18 months, the state of energy incentives of the European governments for industries in the situation is critical and many European industries are deciding to migrate out of Europe.
Emphasizing that the European authorities feel that it is necessary to support the fabric of the European industrial network, in order to create new job opportunities and Europe’s competitiveness increase along with the production of clean energy, he added: Europe is facing many challenges to maintain its industries. The European economy is dependent on the United States and cannot have much independence in many ways. In the current situation, where Europe does not have the importance of the past for the United States, we may witness the beginning of the process of divergence of the Atlantic economy, which will intensify in the future.
Saying that since the beginning of the war in Ukraine, the US has increased the import of goods from Europe, and in fact, this Union has usurped China’s position in importing goods, and emphasized: Even in this situation, by implementing the plan to support companies for production in the US soil, Europe will be more vulnerable than China and other countries. Therefore, it seems that projects like “Made in Europe” cannot solve the concerns of the Union, at least in the short term. In the long run, it may be able to solve some challenges by creating processes, but in the period of 3 to 4 years, such a development will not happen.
Referring to the proposals made by the European Commission to help European industries with an aim of increasing production within the European Union, he said: Union countries also have differences of opinion in this regard. In fact, countries like Poland, which want to maintain transatlantic ties due to the fear of Russia, oppose such procedures.
The Director of the Research-News Center of European Studies, emphasizing that Europe does not have its former role in the new strategy of the United States and that the weight of the Union has decreased with the withdrawal of Britain, noted: Europe forms the main body of the North Atlantic Treaty and the United States cannot remove Europe from its equations, because in this case it would harm the main body of NATO. Therefore, the US is trying to maintain the defense and security dimensions and at the same time, takes the economic dimensions out of priority.
Askari continued: Europe in the current situation has become the scapegoat of the US, and the blows that may be inflicted on the United States will be sent to Europe, especially Eastern Europe. The AUKUS Treaty showed that the US has better and closer relations with some of its allies, and if benefits are to be provided, Europe and other countries that are outside the AUKUS Treaty are ranked second. In addition to this issue, the decrease in the purchasing power of European citizens has caused a drop in public demand and a decrease in the sale of goods and services, to the extent that the European Commission reduced the projected figures for the economic growth of member states.
He said: In addition to such conditions, it seems that as long as the war between Russia and Ukraine continues, the economic risk in the European Union will remain high, which will have its consequences and will face them with more challenges.