Since taking office, Donald Trump has pulled out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and is currently re-negotiating the existing NAFTA treaty with Canada and Mexico. This has opened the door for the E.U., already the largest trading bloc, to set global trade rules due to America’s current trajectory.
The E.U. is currently pushing deals with Japan, Mexico, Brazil, Argentina, Australia, New Zealand, Indonesia, and Malaysia, with many of these nations seeking other options after the dismantlement of TPP. When it comes to trade talks, the biggest economies are likely to set the common standards, meaning a string of new trade agreements could make E.U. rules the benchmark for everything from selling farm products to public works contracts.
However, the E.U. must ratify their accords with all 27 nations, which has led to slow bureaucracy and lengthy trade talks. In order for the E.U. to become the benchmark for global trade, they must limit the amount of internal squabbling between free trading and more protectionist member states and work fast for the next three and a half years.