One year ago, all of us in Europe were eagerly waiting for the results of the U.S. elections. The Trump years had been devastating for transatlantic trade and investment relations. In 2018, the United States imposed additional tariffs on EU imports of steel and aluminum products, stating that these products posed a national security threat to the United States. €6.4 billion worth of trade was affected. Apart from these illegal unilateral measures, the former United States Trade Representative, Robert Lighthizer, used his last months in office to block the appointment of Dr Ngozi Iweala as new Director-General of the World Trade Organization. It once more proved the United States wanted to act unilaterally and saw no merits in the multilateral system.
The EU sighed a breath of relief when Biden took office. The appointment of the very experienced Katherine Tai as United States Trade Representative led many in the EU to believe that from now on everything would be different.