In a tweet, Donald Trump blamed French authorities for staying in the Paris Agreement on Climate Change saying that protestors in France had been chanting “we want Trump”!
In response, France’s government told Trump to stop meddling in the country’s affairs after the US president taunted Emmanuel Macron about violent protests in Paris.
Foreign minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said Mr. Trump should “leave our nation be” after the American leader blamed the unrest on efforts to fight climate change.
Though Trump, instead of criticizing the violent crackdown on popular protests by French police tried to take advantage of the occasion for showing himself off, but he seems to have forgotten the 2008 financial crisis which resulted in bankruptcy of Wall Street large banks and the ensuing unprecedented housing crisis caused by the structural and chronic deterioration in the US monetary system, as well as the social situation in today’s America!
This periodic crisis, after a quick fix and financial manipulations accompanied by massive money injections, showed its negative domino effects later on in Europe, especially in the weak economies of southern Europe so that the governments of Greece, Spain, and Italy went on the verge of bankruptcy, and even Ireland and France did not survive the consequences.
For less than a decade, France, a country with the historical backing of a great revolution, which has been plagued by large social revolts twice, is now experiencing a new movement called the “yellow vests, in which masses of poor rural and suburban populations are present. These protests are no longer similar to ordinary and simple strikes by syndicate and guild members in established European democracies. They rather remind us of the memory of national revolutions in the 18th and 19th centuries in France and Europe.
The unrest in France is occurring under conditions that on the other side of the Green Continent, that is in the United States, it was the economic and financial dilemmas of the capitalist world, as well as the structural imbalance stemming from globalization trends, digitization, and the escalation of class and social contradictions in the entire Western world that brought Donald Trump to power and gave him a chance to shout norm-breaking slogans of isolationism and nationalism, which resulted in outbreak of widespread differences between the US and other countries of the world.
Knowing this environment, Trump immediately after taking office urged the United States which was faced with declining strategic reserves and high consumption, to pull out of the international treaties. Also by relying on the military, intelligence, technology and global role of the US dollar, in order to remain a superpower, he turned into blackmailing of the whole world.
With this White House approach, the US-EU trade dispute turned into trade war at certain junctures to the extent that the French finance minister addressing the G20 summit in Buenos Aires, criticized the Trump administration, saying: A trade war is now a reality. The current US trade policy of imposing unilateral tariffs is based on “the law of the jungle.”
This, however, was not the only point of opposition between the United States and Europe nor was it the only explicit sign of US pressures on its old ally. The US decided not to endorse the final declaration of the G7 Summit, a move which prompted condemnations from Germany and France. Macron’s office warned that international cooperation ‘cannot be dictated by fits of anger and throwaway remarks’.
Following the French president’s criticism of Trump’s policies on issues such as withdrawal from international treaties, including the Paris Convention on Climate Change, the JCPOA, his maladjustment in trade with Europe, military-security cooperation within the framework of NATO and the idea of creation of a “European Army” to protect the continent from China, Russia and the US disturbed the play scene in relations between Europe and the US and sparked severe criticism from the US president.
In contrast, Macron has emphasized the necessity of European independence from the United States on various occasions. In a speech to the German parliament, he underlined Europe’s greater solidarity to confront future challenges and said that Europe should not “become a plaything in the hands of the big powers. Europe should take more responsibility for its security and self-defense. Europe should not play a secondary role in world politics. “
In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, the French president by saying that “we cannot protect Europeans unless we have a real European army” he cited America as a group of countries that France must defend itself against.
This is while the American president has described his French counterpart’s call for the creation of a European army as “very insulting”.
Meanwhile, from the perspective of many analysts, Macron’s critical approaches to Trump’s policies are a function of the tradition of French independence in foreign policy. The founder of these principles was French President in the 60’s Charles de Gaulle who adopted a critical approach towards Europe’s dependence on the US and thus promoted a kind of French patriotism and European independence: a policy that had ups and downs under different presidents until the coming to power of Nicholas Sarkozy but lost color after that. Now the new French president is looking to revive it.
Evading responsibility and overlooking international obligations and treaties is a policy that has been openly pursued by Trump and during this time has happened over and over again, and European leaders have repeatedly expressed concern over its continuity.
Trump administration recently quit the United Nations Scientific, Cultural, and Educational Organization (UNESCO), as well as the Human Rights Council of the UN, in disregard of public opinion and the international community. In addition, the US withdrawal from the Transatlantic Partnership Treaty (TPP), the Paris-based climate change agreement, the UN Immigration Pact, the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), and the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), are among other aspects of American unilateralism.
Trump tries to constantly criticize the leaders of other countries, especially the West, under conditions that even people close to him too are beginning to criticize his policies.
Regarding Trump’s foreign policy performance and the issuance of orders to withdraw from important international treaties, European leaders find themselves a victim of Washington’s unilateral and aggressive approaches and for the same reason, they are struggling to forge a single front against US excessive demands.