Business Briefs

The Impact of the 2012 US Election on the Transatlantic Relationship

According to a recent Gallup poll, 49 percent of Americans are following the news about the European financial situation “at least somewhat closely,” which means that 51 percent of Americans are either following the situation only somewhat closely or not following it at all. Of the 16 percent of Americans who say “very closely,” it is a safe bet that a few of those individuals work on the campaigns of incumbent President Barack Obama and his Republican challenger Mitt Romney. In addition to its effects on markets and economies around the world, the persistent and slowly unfolding crisis in the Eurozone has become the biggest wildcard in a wild election campaign.

A campaign partly about Europe will have more of a postural impact on transatlantic relations than dramatic policy shifts on economic, defense, or diplomatic matters. The economic, military, and diplomatic trends that have brought and kept the United States and Europe tightly entwined, and the resulting transatlantic traditions, are likely to matter more than campaign rhetoric. But because posture has mattered in the long relationship between the United States and Europe, it is important to understand it. The respective postures of the next presidential administration – Romney is more nationalist and Obama will remain more universalist - will be important for how policy is discussed, negotiated, and implemented. 



  • Situation Assessment
  • American Divisions
  • New America Posture?
  • Transatlantic Policy Implications
  • Conclusion


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