now Biden needs Draghi (and the center right)

now Biden needs Draghi (and the center right)
now Biden needs Draghi (and the center right)

The United States and the European Union will suspend for 5 years the reciprocal duties linked to the dispute over public aid to Boeing and Airbus that has lasted for 17 years for which a definitive agreement will be sought. This is certainly one of the most tangible results of the EU-US summit which took place yesterday in Brussels, with the participation of Joe Biden, Ursula von der Leyen e Charles Michel.

As it points out Francesco Forte, former Minister of Finance and for the Coordination of Community Policies, «Today there is certainly more room for profitable trade relations between the two sides of the Atlantic than in Trump’s time. Trade liberalization is fine for Italy, which is placed in a preferential position in trade with the United States. I think we need duties on Chinese products, not so much to limit competition with ours, but to force Beijing to behave better and also to make consumers think more about the origin and quality of products made in China “.

Speaking of China, it is clear that Biden would like a Europe that is more aligned against Beijing and also more attentive in relations with Russia. Can you manage to achieve this?

The EU as such has difficulty in expressing a common line of foreign policy, because there are some countries that have a rather ambiguous line.

For example?

Germany has a relationship with Russia through gas pipelines which makes it dependent on Moscow for the supply of this important raw material. A dependence that other countries such as Italy do not have because their supplies are more diversified. The French aversion to NATO is also known. There is therefore a problem of ambiguity relating to the two leading EU countries.

Isn’t there also an ambiguity on the part of Italy?

Yes, absolutely. Not so much for the more or less explicit relations between some politicians and Russia and China, as for the signing of the memorandum on the New Silk Road. Therefore, also considering that there is no longer the United Kingdom, the EU is rather fluctuating in terms of international relations and also has a problem of no small importance.

Which?

The presence of “tax havens” where Chinese companies that hold stakes in important European companies are based. These are the same tax havens used by multinationals that they then try to tax with international agreements. Europe, therefore, is not 100% reliable for the United States, which is now looking at Italy with more interest.

For what reason?

Since the doubling of the Suez Canal took place, Italy has become extremely strategic for the United States: with the Chinese expansion in Africa and the non-total reliability of Turkey, which is also a member of NATO, Washington risks being without control over the Mediterranean. Also for this reason, it is essential for Biden to seek a very positive relationship with Italy, also because in Draghi he can find a European leader who can influence the choices of other EU countries.

Draghi, however, must first take care of eliminating Italian ambiguities …

Certainly it is not helpful to have Di Maio as foreign minister, given that the vicinity between M5s and China. In the Democratic Party a bit of clarity on this issue would be needed, also given the approach of the dem to the pentastellati. Draghi can therefore currently try to sign agreements with the United States that will satisfy all the parties of his majority to some extent. If he wants to be more authoritative in Washington’s eyes, the Premier will have to lean more on the center-right.

In a few hours Biden will meet Putin. What do you expect?

Frankly, the US President’s line towards Moscow is hard to understand. Perhaps it is dictated by reasons of oil or other rivalry, otherwise it would not be logical: if one has the Chinese as an enemy and the Russians are enemies of the Chinese, the saying “The enemy of my enemy is my friend” must apply. Having Putin against China is very important for Biden. It should therefore act accordingly.

(Lorenzo Torrisi)

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