German chancellor Angela Merkel may have new common ground with Xi Jinping as she leaves for a state visit to China at a time when both China and Europe are grappling with the US withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal and increasing US protectionism.
Since helping shape the General Agreement on Trade and Tariffs (GATT) in 1948, the World Trade Organization's forerunner, the US has been at the forefront of trade liberalization. That era appears to be ending.
Despite a raft of negative headlines on the trade front, the EU has been busy doing free trade deals with Canada, Japan and Mexico. A deal with South American bloc Mercosur may be next, with optimism on both sides.
At a regional Eurasian summit, the presidents of Russia and China have promised to work towards global cooperation. Russia's Putin also signaled a desire for a one-one-one with US President Donald Trump.
In her annual summer press Q&A session, the German chancellor stressed that Europe and the US are not enemies. She also held up the EU as a model of a "win-win" situation — words clearly aimed in Washington's direction.
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