Pursuing Free Trade With U.S.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel, presently the European Union and G-8 president, has big plans for relations between the United States and Europe. In January, meeting with U.S. President George Bush, she discussed a Transatlantic Free Trade Agreement. Merkel proposed ideas that go beyond “removing more trade barriers to creating a transatlantic free-trade zone” (United Press International, January 4).
Merkel is looking to repair damage to the “Atlantic Bridge” caused by differences of European and American opinion, specifically on Iraq. The logic of such a decision is clear: “The U.S. and the EU share—economically at least—more common interests than differences, and merging the economies could help buffer both sides of the Atlantic from the negative effects of globalization” (Spiegel Online, January 4).
As Süddeutsche Zeitung reported, Merkel is capitalizing on the “common interests that make the Europeans and the Americans natural partners.”
Still, Merkel’s positive stance toward America as an ally is something rare in European politics, even if the alliance is only economic. A similar idea already failed a few years ago when France derailed it. But Merkel’s power position lends weight to her ideas. With its economic future looking unstable, America may be eager to hook up with Europe.
The Trumpet has for some years foretold of the rekindling of a romance between Germany and the U.S. This is based on a striking prophecy in Ezekiel 23, which describes a “lover” relationship between the two peoples. In the end, America will regret having trusted so implicitly in a foreign nation rather than in God: Ezekiel warns that Germany, after gaining America’s trust and support, will betray America.