Why You Need to Know About This Historic New Trade Deal
“[T]he United States is going to be left out in the cold as two gigantic trade blocs, Europe and Latin America, mesh together and begin calling the shots in world commerce.” So warned the Plain Truth in May 1962.
On Friday, these two trade blocs meshed together.
The European Union and Latin American trade bloc mercosur announced they have agreed on a draft of the world’s largest free-trade area. When the trade deal was under negotiation earlier this year, Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry wrote, “This trade agreement will impact the whole world! It is going to affect your life dramatically.”
How did Herbert W. Armstrong’s magazine forecast such a specific development so long ago? Why is this deal that important?
Because this is about so much more than trade. It’s about the arrival of an empire prophesied in your Bible thousands of years ago, an empire that will use Latin America as a launching point to target the United States.
The new agreement is a major, official step toward a European-Latin American alliance. European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker called it “a truly historic moment.” Argentine President Mauricio Macri, who led the negotiations for mercosur, said that it is “the most important agreement we’ve signed in our history.”
The agreement creates a free-trade area that covers 780 million people, with an annual economic output of $21 trillion. It will cover the four core nations of mercosur—Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay—and will abolish $4.5 billion worth of duties. Over the next 10 to 15 years, it will phase out more than 90 percent of the tariffs that the EU and mercosur currently have on each other.
mercosur typically places very high tariffs on goods produced by outside countries. This tariff wall will now keep out goods from other advanced economies, like the United States, while letting in goods produced in Europe. Meanwhile, it allows mercosur to sell cheap raw material and agricultural goods to Europe. These are big wins for German industry.
But this is about much more than economics. The small print of the deal isn’t out yet, but the outlines that have been published show mercosur is signing up to several of the EU’s rules and regulations. More importantly, it locks the biggest economies in the region, Brazil and Argentina, into an economic and political relationship with Europe. EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström said that the deal brought “closer … friends and allies with whom we have long historical ties and with whom we work very well in many other areas.”
The prospect of a deal between mercosur and the EU was so important that Mr. Flurry made it the subject of his cover article for the March 2019 Trumpet issue. This deal “will have repercussions we need to think about carefully. It is destined to lead to some very dark days for America, if we don’t heed prophecy and realize what God has to say about it,” he wrote. Why is that?
European powers have a history of forging links with Latin America in order to get at the United States.
Even with modern technology, successfully attacking the U.S. across the Atlantic Ocean would be incredibly hard. So European powers have looked for bases in the New World.
Napoleon launched a major military operation to conquer Haiti, so he could create a French colonial empire in the New World. During the American Civil War, France tried to move into Mexico while the U.S. was distracted. In the early 1900s, Germany tried to establish a naval base in Venezuela, at the same time as the German high command was working on plans for a land invasion of the U.S. During World War i, Germany infamously tried to persuade Mexico to go to war with the U.S. and win back Texas, New Mexico and Arizona. After World War ii, many Latin American nations welcomed ex-Nazi war criminals. During the Cold War, Soviet Russia established close links with Cuba, deployed nuclear missiles there, and brought the world to the brink of nuclear war.
This is why the U.S. has typically upheld the Monroe Doctrine and sought to keep foreign powers out of the Western Hemisphere. But the Obama administration openly announced that it was abandoning the Monroe Doctrine and would no longer attempt to enforce it.
Now Europe is moving in again, and no one really cares.
Western Europe especially is in a prime position to use Latin America as a stepping-stone to the U.S. It has strong links to the region.
Latin America was colonized by Spain and Portugal, which used religion to cement their hold on the region. The populations of Argentina, Paraguay, Bolivia, Chile, Peru, Colombia and Venezuela are all at least 70 percent Catholic today. In 1493, just one year after Christopher Columbus’s voyage, Pope Alexander vi published a papal bull dividing the newly discovered territory between Spain and Portugal, under the condition that these powers converted the natives to Catholicism. When Hernán Cortés tore through the Aztec Empire, he was following a letter of instruction that said, “The first aim of your expedition is to serve God and spread the Christian faith.”
Missionaries poured into the region. Priests built new towns and villages for their converts. They constructed huge churches, larger than many of the cathedrals in Europe. The Jesuits took this to an even higher level in South America, where hundreds of thousands lived in Jesuit-run autonomous colonies, complete with their own Jesuit armies.
Yet despite decrees banning the entry of non-Catholics, other Christians arrived in the New World too. To quash them, Catholics imported from Europe the Spanish Inquisition. On the recommendation of the Inquisition, thousands of “heretics” throughout the continent were tortured until they died or confessed to charges they faced. In Lima, Peru, alone, 1,000 were executed.
This left the region largely Catholic. Spain held great power over Latin Americans, so long as it worked with the Catholic Church. The clergy taught everyone to obey the Spanish government—and enabled the Spanish empire to rule a huge area with relatively few troops. This broke down in the 19th century when Spain fell out with the Catholic Church. With the church no longer preaching loyalty to Spain, countries across the region broke away and became independent. But the links to the Catholic Church survive. Today, 40 percent of the world’s Catholics live in Latin America, and a man born in Argentina heads the Catholic Church in Rome.
Europe and Latin America also have close economic links. The EU is already mercosur’s top source for investment and second-biggest trading partner in goods.
The two also have a strong military relationship. Between 2002 and 2011, more than 49 percent of weapons imported by South American nations came from the EU. Between 2014 and 2018, France and Germany sold significantly more to the region than did the U.S. The continent is full of secondhand European warships and German tanks.
“South America has clearly avoided being dependent on America for critical weapons systems. But it is dependent on Europe,” we write in our free booklet He Was Right. “South America is welded to Europe’s military system.”
Nicholas J. Spykman was one of America’s great geopolitical thinkers. One of the biggest things he warned about was the power a united Europe would have in Latin America. He warned that Brazil and Argentina were so far from the U.S., it was difficult for the U.S. to project power there. For all practical purposes, it’s as easy to travel from Buenos Aires to Spain or Portugal, as it is to travel to Washington, D.C. You could sum up a good chunk of his geopolitical thinking by saying that one of America’s top priorities should be to stop the unification of Europe, because with such close links to South America, a united Europe would be very hard for the U.S. to keep out of Latin America. And once a united European power is in Latin America, it can threaten the U.S. This is why Spykman was an early supporter for war with Hitler and the Nazis. He warned against isolationism, arguing that “even if the U.S. could have avoided war with Germany over Europe, it could not have avoided a struggle with Germany for hegemony over South America.”
Robert Kaplan, another top geopolitical thinker, discusses Spykman’s ideas in his book Revenge of Geography. He warns that “already one can see that the more united Europe becomes, the greater its tensions with the United States. A true European superstate with armed forces and a single foreign policy at its command would be both a staunch competitor of the U.S. and possibly the dominant outside power in the equidistant zone of southern South America.”
Armed with just this knowledge of history and geography, you would think more people in the U.S. would be alarmed by the growing links between Europe and mercosur. The Bible gives us an even stronger warning.
The Bible reports history in advance. It’s worth taking the time to prove what it says. It is these prophecies that enabled Mr. Armstrong to forecast this trade deal 60 years ago. Any book capable of making that kind of forecast obviously has real power behind it, and is worth understanding.
Revelation 17 gives an overview of history and prophecy, written 2,000 years ago. It describes a beast power that is ruled at times by “kings”—it’s some form of political entity, an empire, state or kingdom. Verse 3 tells us that it is ridden by a woman. Other passages, such as Revelation 12 and Ephesians 5, show that a woman in biblical symbolism is a church.
So we have a political power with a close relationship with a church. Revelation 17 gives us more details. Verse 10 tells us that this political power continually rises and falls. At the time that this passage was revealed, this power had risen and fallen five times. Its sixth incarnation was about to fall, and it would be followed by a seventh.
Where do we see an empire, led by a church, that rises and falls repeatedly? This is a perfect description of Europe’s repeated attempts to re-create the so-called “Holy Roman Empire” and its close ties to the Catholic Church—the same Holy Roman Empire, and the same church, that has long been linked to Latin America. There are more scriptures you can put together with Revelation 17 to confirm this explanation. Read our free book The Holy Roman Empire in Prophecy to gain an understanding of this and prove it for yourself.
The sixth resurrection was on the scene when Herbert W. Armstrong was teaching the world what these verses meant. It fell, and once he died the seventh began to rise.
This is what the EU-mercosur agreement is really about. “The reality though is that by linking itself with Europe in this way, Latin America is contributing to the rise of a modern resurrection of the medieval Holy Roman Empire!” Mr. Flurry wrote in that March article.
This link could prove to be a critical development in the rise of this empire. Not everyone in the EU is happy about this agreement. Farmers especially don’t like it—they don’t want to compete with cheap food produced in Latin America.
Before it goes into force, it must be ratified by all 27 EU member states. This is often a painful process at the best of times—just one disgruntled parliament can hold the whole thing up. But perhaps this deal will play a role in fixing that problem.
“If this massive trade deal is finalized this year, then I believe we will see the current 28-nation European Union pared down to the prophesied 10-nation superpower this year as well,” wrote Mr. Flurry. “Before Europe can be closely tied to Latin America, something will have to change. The current politically and religiously disunified EU will have to become a politically, militarily and religiously unified Holy Roman Empire. Latin America is already quite united in its religion; the Holy Roman Empire will have to become united in its religion as well. And the only way to remove the division is by reducing that union to 10 nations. It is prophesied to happen (Revelation 17).”
Countries with a strong Catholic heritage are generally willing to go with the deal, even if it may cause some pain for their farmers. Others without that heritage may not be. Will the EU allow these dissenters to stand in the way of their “historic” deal? Or could they instead move to a new, smaller system so they can move on without them?
There is one final, crucial prophecy we need to understand to see why this deal is so significant.
The Bible gives the overview of God’s plan for the world, including all the major nations in it. As part of that plan, He intended the descendants of ancient Israel to set an example of how to obey God. He poured out tremendous blessings upon the United States and United Kingdom, the modern descendants of ancient Israel (for proof read our free book The United States and Britain in Prophecy). But our nations have instead set an example of lawlessness.
And so God promises to punish our nations. Deuteronomy 28 lists some of the blessings He gave and the curses that are coming because of our disobedience. Verse 52 states that America’s enemies “shall besiege thee in all thy gates, until thy high and fenced walls come down, wherein thou trustedst.”
God prophesies that America’s enemies will launch a siege against it, cutting it off from global trade.
The majority of America’s ocean-borne trade travels through its ports on the Gulf of Mexico. It is simply not possible to besiege America without a presence in Latin America.
And now Europe is moving in, forging close trade links. This is why Mr. Flurry warned, “Few Americans are paying attention to the situation that is developing to our south. But I guarantee they won’t be able to ignore it indefinitely. This trade agreement will impact the whole world! It is going to affect your life dramatically. The seeds are being sown for a trade war and an economic besiegement that will help destroy America. This trade deal is that important!”
Ezekiel 5 and 6 describe this siege and its results. It is a grim forecast. As curses from God hit America, the social order will break down, and many will die. Foreign powers will quickly take advantage of the weakness, and America will be overthrown.
But this same passage also contains crucial hope. Ezekiel 6:9 tells us that once this has finally happened “you shall remember me among the nations.” Verse 10 tells us, “And they shall know that I am the Lord, and that I have not said in vain that I would do this evil unto them.”
This will lead to our nations getting to know God. And this is the only way all the massive problems we see building around us can be solved.
This coming siege will lead to dark times, but it’s part of God’s plan for America and all mankind. That plan will see the whole world given a chance to know God and receive the great blessings He has to offer. Understanding this plan is the only true hope to be had behind the events we see on the news. To learn more, and to prove it from the Bible, request your free copy of The United States and Britain in Prophecy, by Herbert W. Armstrong.