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World News and Trends: Trade war coming between Europe and the United States?

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Trade war coming between Europe and the United States?

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Threats of a trade war between America and the European Union have emerged from time to time over the last 50 years. But so far all potential outbreaks have receded.

The latest incident revolves around EU reaction to presidential candidate Hillary Clinton's stated intentions to review America's main economic treaties, even including NAFTA (the North American Free Trade Agreement) with Canada and Mexico. She has reportedly called for "measures to 'shelter' US companies from foreign investors" (The Daily Telegraph, Jan. 25, 2008).

Mrs. Clinton said: "We just can't keep doing what we did in the twentieth century. We have to drive a tougher bargain" (ibid.). EU Trade Commissioner Peter Mandelson reacted sharply by retorting: "The things she's been saying reverberate around the world . . . People in the current administration tell me the US is turning into a protectionist country. It is a serious concern" (ibid.).

These trade tensions continue on several fronts. For instance, The Wall Street Journal (Jan. 15, 2008) stated that "the U.S. said it will retaliate with trade sanctions unless European countries reverse illegal bans on planting genetically modified crops, threatening escalation in the long-running trans-Atlantic dispute over engineered foods."

Bible prophecy indicates that these recurrent trans-Atlantic tensions could eventually develop into a full-scale trade war as events move us toward the end of this age. (Sources: The Daily Telegraph [London], The Wall Street Journal.)