By Eric Zuesse
A German equivalent to UK’s Financial Times and America’s Wall Street Journal is the Dusseldorf Handelsblatt or “Commerce Sheet,” which headlined on June 30th, “Former Chancellor Schröder: USA Ending Transatlantic Partnership”.
Former German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder has condemned possible new US sanctions against the Nord Stream 2 natural gas pipeline as “deliberate termination of the transatlantic partnership.” A draft law currently under discussion in the US Congress is “a widespread, unjustified attack on the European economy and an unacceptable interference with EU sovereignty and the energy security of Western Europe,” Schröder writes in his statement for a public hearing of the Economic Committee scheduled for Wednesday in the Bundestag.
The article closes:
Schröder sees the relations with the USA as “heavily burdened” by “escalating tariffs and going it alone” policy by the Americans. Schröder writes: “Economic fines against a NATO ally during the current economic recession are nothing other than a deliberate termination of the transatlantic partnership.”
This is as if Jimmy Carter or Barack Obama were to say that EU policymakers had a trade policy toward the U.S. that is so hostile and uncooperative that in order to comply with it, the U.S. would have to subordinate itself to the EU and lose some of its own sovereignty, and as if he were to tell the U.S. Congress that for them to okay the EU’s demands in this matter would be “nothing other than a termination of the transatlantic partnership.”
Congress has not yet passed this legislation (new economic sanctions legislation that is co-sponsored in the U.S. Senate by Republican Ted Cruz and Democrat Jeanne Shaheen) but it (“S.1441 – Protecting Europe’s Energy Security Act of 2019”) enjoys strong bipartisan support and has been considered almost certain to be passed in both houses of the U.S. Congress and signed into law by President Donald Trump. It is not a partisan issue in the United States.
Neither is it partisan in Germany. Both of Germany’s main political Parties (Schröder being SPD) support strongly the Nord Stream 2 natural gas pipeline, which will be considerably more economical for supplying natural gas to the EU than would be the U.S. Government’s demand that American shipped fracked liquified natural gas be used, instead of Russian pipelined natural gas, in Europe. Though this U.S. legislative initiative is called “Protecting Europe’s Energy Security,” its overwhelming support in the U.S. Congress is instead actually for protecting U.S. fracking corporations. The bill’s title is only for ‘patriotic’ propaganda purposes (which is the typical way that legislation is named in the United States — as a sales-device, so as to sound acceptable not only to the billionaires who fund the Parties but also to the voters on election day).
Both of America’s political Parties are significantly funded by America’s domestic producers of fracked gas. One of the few proud achievements of U.S. President Obama that has been proudly continued by President Trump has been their boosting U.S. energy production, largely fracked gas, so as to reduce America’s foreign-trade deficit. However, if this control over the U.S. Government by frackers continues, then there now exists a strong possibility, or even a likelihood, that the transatlantic alliance will end, as a result.