The illuminated White House in Washington, DC in dusk on a snowy winter evening. In the background one can see the obelisk of the Washington Monument.

Inside Washington: Views on Trump and Transatlantic Relations

The US Presidential election campaign revealed few details about the direction of America's transatlantic policy under a Trump administration. In the absence of clear policy direction, we asked a bi-partisan group of politicians and experts in Washington, DC to give us a preview of what to expect from the 45th President.

Congressman Michael McCaul (Republican – Texas)
Chairman, House Homeland Security Committee:

"The recent attack in Berlin and the arrests of numerous ISIS-linked individuals inside Europe in recent months underscores the acute threat we in the West face from radical Islamist terrorists. I am confident that President Trump will continue to work with our European allies, of which Germany is a vital counterterrorism partner, to strengthen our security relationships by reinforcing border security, strengthening trusted traveler and refugee screening, and eliminating bureaucratic stovepipes in order to streamline intelligence and information sharing."


Michael McCaul (Source: United States Congress / Wikimedia Commons - Public Domain)

Congressman Gregory Meeks (Democrat – New York)Ranking Member, House Foreign Affairs, Subcommittee on Europe:

"There is a responsibility on Congress to continue this mutually-beneficial, values-based partnership, and any compromises on this from a new administration, whether it be on trade, security, rule of law, will be met by outcries and action. Yes, both sides of the Atlantic are living through 'interesting times,' and we need each other now more than ever in the choppy waters of international affairs. Our President-elect will get a chance to govern and implement policy, but these issues are not new to me, and I will continue to make sure the transatlantic voice is heard and appreciated in a bi-partisan manner."

Gregory Meeks (Source: US House of Representatives / Wikimedia Commons - Public Domain)

Congressman Dana Rohrabacher (Republican – California)
Chairman, House Foreign Affairs, Subcommittee on Europe:

"Trump is not a reformer, he is going to revolutionize the way the United States and Europe deal with each other on security and economic issues."

Dana Rohrabacher (Source: United States Congress / Wikimedia Commons - Public Domain)

Stephen Szabo
Executive Director, Transatlantic Academy, German Marshall Fund:

"Donald Trump reflects a deeper shift in the American political culture toward a more nationalist and mercantilist foreign policy. As America becomes a more geo-economic power, it is a much less reliable guarantor of European security and a less attractive model as its soft power has been substantially weakened by the tone of the recent electoral campaign.

This is clearly a watershed moment in transatlantic relations, one which poses a direct challenge to Europe at a time when it faces the greatest threat to its unity since German unification. Europe (and Germany) will have to become a more independent geopolitical actor in order to preserve the western liberal order."

Stephen Szabo (Source: German Marshall Fund - Public Domain)

Tim Bennett
CEO, Transatlantic Business Council:

"Trump appears to have limited knowledge of either the EU or Europe more broadly, but will quickly learn that the political and economic challenges in the transatlantic space are increasing. The costs of duplicative regulatory requirements, cybersecurity threats, cross border data flows, data localization requirements, privacy, and climate change are all issues that must be managed.

Trump has already demonstrated an openness to input from the business community. Thus, a high-level summit with both senior government and industry representatives from Europe and the U. S. should be considered during Trump's first year in office."

Tim Bennett (Source: Transatlantic Business Council)

Congressman Bill Keating (Democrat – Massachusetts)
Member, Committees on Homeland Security and Foreign Affairs:

"One very important aspect of U.S.-EU cooperation is security, as the challenges we face are increasingly transnational and global. The depth and breadth of U.S. cooperation with the EU will continue to be crucial for combating terrorist threats and promoting the kind of stability worldwide that is necessary for lasting peace and security here in the U.S. and for our European partners.

Our two economies also represent over half of global GDP. It is incumbent upon the U.S. Government to promote transatlantic economic cooperation that will support and strengthen both of our economies. A trade and investment agreement with the European Union is a very important piece of that cooperation."

Bill Keating (Source: US House of Representatives / Wikimedia Commons - Public Domain)

These quotes were gathered by Anthony Silberfeld, Director of Transatlantic Relations at the Washington-based Bertelsmann Foundation. Please find further informations about him here.