Is Germany closer to Russia than the West? Nord Stream II and Iran count more

Last Friday, Angela Merkel, the German Chancellor, rushed to Sochi, the Black Sea seaside Russian resort to meet Vladimir Putin. It was the first visit by a Western leader to meet him at home, after his fourth inauguration on 7 May as President of the vast country, this time for six more years. Looking through […]

Europe split in confronting the US sanctions on Iran, Washington isolated

Donald Trump, the ‘America First’ President in withdrawing from the Iranian nuclear non-proliferation deal, doesn’t seem to be honoring his lead electoral motto. It seems that he is serving more the interests of Saudi Arabia and to a lesser extent of Israel. Riyadh has much at stake in its inimical interaction with Iran. Israel on […]

France-Germany: Divided in Europe, USA united in…Iran

Last Tuesday afternoon the President of ‘America first’ Donald Trump withdrew the US from the Nuclear non-Proliferation Agreement with Iran. The deal is known as P5+1 and was co-signed by the US, France, Britain, Germany, Russia and China. There is no information regarding when the US is to re-introduce its economic sanctions against Iran, and […]

Business uncertainty rises as US grants only temporary exception to EU for steel and aluminium tariffs

Trump’s America first decided last Monday to prolong negotiations on steel and aluminium tariffs with Canada, the EU and Mexico till June 1. This announcement was made just a few hours before the temporary exception expires preventing retaliation and massive impact on the relationship between the U.S., EU, Canada and Mexico. However, the EU officials expressed […]

Macron crowned king of Europe in Washington D.C.; just a working meeting with Trump for Merkel

A rare service Donald Trump is currently doing for the Europeans is that he offers them a platform for important common action to be undertaken by the French President Emmanuel Macron and the German Chancellor Angela Merkel. They are both visiting the White House this week, but expect quite different reception from Trump; pompous state […]

“A global threat lies ahead worsened after the EU’s green light to the Bayer-Monsanto merger”, a Sting Exclusive by the President of Slow Food

This article was exclusively written for the Sting by Mr Carlo Petrini, founder and President of Slow Food, a global, grassroots organization, founded in 1989 to prevent the disappearance of local food cultures and traditions and counteract the rise of fast food culture. The opinion expressed in this piece belongs strictly to the writer and does not necessarily reflect The […]

EU cuts fast-track free trade deals with Japan and Singapore and leads the trade scene

Containers at the port of Tokyo. (Copyright: European Union, 2016. Source: EC - Audiovisual Service. Photo: Haruyoshi Yamaguchi)

Last week, the European Commission presented the outcome of the negotiations for the Economic Partnership Agreement with Japan, formally putting forward the proposed trade deal with the Asian country for fast-track approval. Once signed, the EU-Japan agreement would represent the most important trade agreement ever negotiated by the EU, and Brussels is now officially pushing […]

EU-China trade: closer ties as US-China trade battle brews

The U.S. Commerce Department announced last Monday that it prohibited American companies from selling components to ZTE, one of the biggest tech companies in China, for seven years. The Chinese side responded to this action by introducing a huge import charge on US shipments of sorghum mentioning that it will defend multilateralism and free trade […]

India and the EU get close to revive talks on proposed Free Trade Agreement

EU and Indian flags at EU-India Summit in New Delhi last October (copyright EU 2018, Source: EC - Audiovisual Service)

At a moment in history, where US “trade war” is targeting China and protectionism is on the rise, there’s one country that has the potential to gain momentum on the stage of international trade: India. New Delhi has indeed the potential to write a totally new chapter of its history of trade with the West, […]

Is the advent of nationalism to destroy economic neo-liberalism?

All major stock exchanges suffered severe losses on the first day of this week not because Tesla and facebook stocks are falling, or even because the Chinese announced on Sunday night their retaliative import tariffs of 15% to 25% on 128 US products; all that was known and probably discounted for during the past few […]

Trump’s trade wars: Aiming at long term gains for America

Last Friday, President Donald Trump again surprised  the world by imposing new import tariffs on Chinese products of a value of $60 billion and deferring the imposition of import super levies on European Union steel and aluminum for 1st May. In the latter case he also postponed the new tariffs for another six exporting countries […]

Trump’s trade war splits the EU; Germany upset with Juncker’s “we can be stupid too”

The US-EU trade war starts on 23 March, with the first shot fired by Washington at 12:01 a.m. (04.01 GMT). From what we know so far, from that minute onward the American customs authorities will impose extra tariffs on steel and aluminum imports, set by President Trump at 25% and 10% respectively. However, it seems […]

Trump systematically upsets global order and trade: Where does this end?

The extra import tariffs Donald Trump, the ‘America first’ President, the US is to impose on steel (25%) and aluminum (10%) imports have provoked a tsunami of reactions and widespread consequences without and even within the country. The European Commission President reacted swiftly and stated the EU is to retaliate with tariffs of an equal […]

Is Britain to sail alone in the high seas of trade wars?

If Britain is counting on the US for a favorable bilateral trade agreement after Brexit, Donald Trump the President of ‘America first,’ rushed last Thursday to destroy that Brit dream; he announced 25% extra tariffs on steel and 10% on aluminum imports, prompting anger and retaliatory measures from America’s closest political allies, Canada and the […]

Brexit negotiations: back to square one, tougher words, no good faith

This past week, the EU and UK  Brexit negotiators’ solemn exchanges became for the first time, really aggressive and plain. Since the beginning of September 2017, during the Michel Barnier – David Davis meetings there had being difficult moments. Nevertheless, the two chief negotiators never questioned the good faith of the other side; not any […]

A Trumpist squad shook Davos and the world

Towards the end of last week, in Davos, a money devaluation war broke out. In the ‘magic’ Alpine mountains American Trumpist dignitaries did what was expected of them: they told the world they don’t give a damn about it…Trump himself, however, appeared a bit less Trumpist than his folk. Overall though, a US administration squad […]

The EU and Japan seal free trade pact that will cover 30% of global GDP

Statement by Cecilia Malmström, Member of the EC in charge of Trade, on the successful conclusion of the final discussions on the EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) – Brussels, 08 Dec 2017. (Copyright: European Union; Source: EC - Audiovisual Service; Photo: Georges Boulougouris)

Last Friday, after striking a life-changing Brexit agreement with the United Kingdom, the European Union managed to finalise negotiations on a major trade deal with Japan. Sources revealed that EU and Japan leaders were able to find a final accord on the telephone, after their respective chief negotiators concluded a meeting in Brussels and paved […]

US follows the EU in impeding China market economy status in WTO

A ship with containers at the port of Rotterdam. (Copyright: European Union. Source: EC - Audiovisual Service. Photo: Robert Meerding)

Trade relations between China and the West may be on the brink of a substantial turn. Last Thursday, the United States have formalized to the World Trade Organization (WTO) its opposition to China’s request to be recognized as a “market economy”. The move, which is strong enough to represent a gamechanger alone, comes amid a […]

Brexit: UK business fear of a no-deal scenario preparing for the worst

The Confederation of British Industry annual conference which took place last Monday in London was a chance for Prime Minister Theresa May to ask for more patience from the business world. Something though that seems to have been lost as negotiations show no significant progress and time presses both sides. A survey by the Chartered […]

European Commission determined to conclude EU-Mercosur trade deal this year despite French concerns

Despite the little space dedicated to pure international trade at the latest European leaders’ summit in Brussels, one of last week’s biggest takeaways is that negotiations between the EU and Southern America over a free trade deal may soon gain momentum. On Friday, right at the end of last week’s EU Council meeting, European Commission […]

Trump’s pounding of Iran less harsh than expected, leaves arrangement open

Trump did again what he has been good at. This time he pounded the non-nuclear proliferation agreement with Iran. To be reminded, this was the P5+1 nations (US, Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany) agreement of 2015 with Iran , by which the latter country accepted to stop its nuclear program and be duly inspected […]

EU-India summit: Will the EU manage to sign a free trade agreement with India before Britain?

Last Friday, the 14th EU-India summit took place in New Delhi with both sides to jointly state that trade partnership is approaching rapidly and as soon as all conditions are met. The free trade agreement negotiations have started in 2007 but have not concluded yet as there are unsolved issues related mainly to market access. […]

Brexit: The Conservative Party drives the UK and Europe to a perilous road

The Tories, the governing party of Britain is falling apart, being deeply divided about the kind of Brexit their country should pursue. It’s not the disastrous political circumstances of Prime Minister Theresa May that blocks the negotiations with the European Union, but the chaos dividing the hard Brexiteers from their colleagues preferring a smooth partition […]

State of the Union 2017: Juncker’s optimism about EU growth and Brexit’s impact

It was last Wednesday when the president of the European Commission made his annual State speech address to the European Parliament pointing out the top priorities for the next year. Jean-Claude Juncker expressed his optimism for the boosting of the EU economy, trade, investment, cybersecurity, industry and democracy. The president of the EC respected the […]

The EU Commission vies to screen Chinese investment in Europe

Last week, Jean-Claude Juncker, the head of the powerful European Commission, the executive arm of the European Union, announced a plan to screen foreign investments. The idea is to hold back or even effectively block business acquisitions or other investment plans financed by third country companies, in key sectors allegedly considered to be sensitive from […]

Brexit talks: Today the world to hear of a predictable failure

Last Monday’s events in Brussels were very characteristic of how perilously the Brits take the Brexit or more precisely how unripe they are to discuss this precarious question. When the two negotiating teams sat down for the first time to produce some tangible progress, the leader of the UK side, Brexit Secretary David Davis and […]

Trump badly cornered at home by agribusiness and steel consumer lobbies: Trade

Donald Trump, the real estate mogul and TV reality show star, as President, discovered the hard way that international trade is a much more complicated issue than he could have ever imagined. His poor cognitive abilities and his rampant nature didn’t allow him to realize that international trade is a much more complex issue, than […]

EU and Japan agree on free-trade deal and fill the post-TPP void

Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the EC, Donald Tusk, President of the European Council and Shinzō Abe, Japanese Prime Minister at the EU-Japan Summit (Brussels, July 6, 2017). Copyright: European Union; Source: EC – Audiovisual Service; Photo: Etienne Ansotte Last week, right before the kick-off of the Hamburg G20 Summit, the European Union and Japan announced […]

Human rights in Brussels and in Beijing: a more balanced approach needed

At the last United Nations Human Rights Council meeting, which was held in Geneva earlier this month, Greece shocked the world by objecting a common EU statement regarding the condemnation of  human rights violations in China. EU diplomats were not happy about that as it was the first time that the EU did not agree […]