Trade War and Real Armies

The European Union and the United States are at war! Don’t worry, it’s not a literal shooting war, but as of last Friday, they are in a trade war. At the start of the month, the U.S. put tariffs on steel and aluminum made in the EU. It also hit Canada and Mexico with tariffs.

On June 22, the EU struck back. Its list of American-made items it placed tariffs on looks like they sat down and came up with the first half a dozen stereotypically American products they could think of: for example, Kentucky bourbon, Harley-Davidson motorbikes and denim jeans.

Why does it matter if American bourbon is a bit more expensive in the EU—especially since we can just buy scotch?

Trade wars can start small but then easily spiral. Already U.S. President Donald Trump is threatening to place a 20 percent tariff on European cars.

The Bible has a lot to say about trade war. I wrote about this in more detail in my article “Spiraling Into Trade War,” in the May-June issue of the Trumpet magazine. I think the U.S. could have a lot of short-term success. Germany is dependent on selling its goods to America. This gives the U.S. a lot of leverage.

But in the longer term, the Bible warns about the dangers of a trade war. God says that He is at the core of America’s economic success and warns the nation that He will take that away if it does not obey Him. Isaiah 23 warns of a “mart of nations” dominated by Europe and China—both of which are in this current trade war with the U.S. Other scriptures make clear that these powers will cut off America from global trade.

For more information, please read “Spiraling Into Trade War.”

Developments in Europe

German Chancellor Angela Merkel continues to fight for her political life. Sixteen European countries met over the weekend to discuss migration. There was a strong push toward setting up centers for migrants in North Africa and sending more there. The United Nations’ refugee agency has already offered to set up these facilities, according to a confidential letter seen by the EU Observer. Other proposals call for a beefed-up EU border force, which would intercept and presumably detain and return incoming refugees.

It’s not clear if this will be enough to save Ms. Merkel. These are long-term solutions, and she has less than a week. But they will draw Europe deeper into Africa. The Bible forecasts a clash between Europe and radical Islam and warns that this clash will include North Africa. (You can read more about this in our free booklet The King of the South.)

For such a clash, Europe needs a united military, which it is currently working on. There are quite a few different plans for a combined European military, with another one established just this week. Nine European countries signed a letter of intent to create a joint military intervention force. Its aim is to deploy quickly in times of crisis. It was signed by France, Germany, Belgium, Denmark, the Netherlands, Estonia, Spain, Portugal and the United Kingdom. The UK intends to take part in this plan, even if it leaves the EU.

I don’t know where this specific project is going. There are, however, quite a few initiatives now where smaller groups of nations cooperate militarily.

Revelation 17 describes 10 national leaders giving their “power and strength” to an overall power. This is why we watch what is going on in Europe so closely. A 10-nation united military power is forming in Europe. You can read more about that in our article “Why the Trumpet Watches Europe’s Push Toward a Unified Military.”

And finally, we can’t discuss the news this week in Germany without mentioning Germany’s stunning World Cup defeat. Last year’s champions failed to make it out of the group stage after a humiliating loss to South Korea on Wednesday. It’s the first time since 1938 that Germany has gone out in the first round.

Sports news generally doesn’t affect world news, and that is still true in this case. But it will certainly add to the general feeling of discouragement in Germany right now—that the wheels are coming off everywhere.