The week is starting off with difficult issues rearing their ugly heads. Just when President Donald Trump is starting his European trip, the UK, Trump’s first stop, is entering into a political crisis over Brexit. There is a good possibility that the May government will collapse on this issue, which could force Trump to cancel his trip to the UK and turn it into a trip just to Brussels and Helsinki. In Brussels he is to attend the NATO summit meeting and in Helsinki he is to meet with Vladimir Putin.
The problems in the UK and the emerging difficulties of the Trump tariff initiatives, should make the President’s trip difficult and contentious. Hopefully, Trump will be able to repair some of the hurt feeling’s he created during the G7 summit in Canada. That is an unlikely development, however.
Trump’s demand that NATO contribute more money to the alliance seems to have been met. We know little about what will greet him when he gets together with Putin. Perhaps the most worrisome development could be what Trump is willing to give away, just to be friends with the Russian leader. We do know that Russia wants sanctions relief and wants to talk about both countries’ nuclear plans. The Ukraine situation also seems to be on the table, but with little hope for a resolution.
The just introduced US tariffs are beginning to bite. How much this will affect his discussions is unclear, but we do know that the European allies are furious over the tariffs and they all have announced countervailing duties. The big worry among all the parties involved is that the economies of the US and the rest of the world have come under increasing risks, just when the international economic climate has improved.