The US’s continuous power abuses must be stopped

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The US has demonstrated, again and again, how untrustworthy they are as a nation, ally, friend and commercial partner.

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Americans would rather have us eating at McDonalds, watching movies on Netflix, browsing and searching the net via Google, watching videos on YouTube, interacting with Facebook or Twitter, flood our cinemas with Hollywood movies and our radios with American pop music, and do all our shopping on Amazon. Americans want us to buy their Fords and Chevrolets, use American-only software such as Windows or Office, run all our networks through Cisco and Qualcomm gear, use iPhones, power our servers with Intel, AMD or Nvidia, and the list goes on. For defence, Americans undermine European competitors by selling their F-35, with countries such as Belgium and Denmark failing to support our Union and backstabbing the economies of fellow member states by purchasing, at a higher price, rival options, instead of going for France’s Rafale or the European Eurofighter Typhoon.

But in exchange, Americans do not want to know anything about Europe. They’ll claim the European car industry is unfair to them, while most of the “European” cars sold in the US are manufactured in the country, contrary to, for example, a lot of the hardware gear they want us to purchase, which is manufactured in China or other Asian countries. Even their F-35 is manufactured primarily in the US, with very little investment in Europe. In exchange, Americans are uninterested in European music, movies, culture, food, or industry at large, treating us as non-existent or unimportant on multiple occasions.

In other words, Americans would rather have us fully depend on them, taking all our money and evading taxes, destroying our welfare-states, and give nothing in return. They want full access to our single market, to the world’s largest trading block, have access to the wallets of each and every European citizen, as well as all their data, but give nothing in exchange, and instead will try to restrict European activities on US soil as much as possible. It is clear US corporations and government officials only see Europeans as consumers with a large disposable income, waiting to be milked dry by them.

This attitude can be observed in many other matters, raising questions about our real relationship with this so called “superpower”. For instance, the US left the Paris Agreement. The US threatened to withdraw from the United Nations, even if it is undeniable this organization has become a joke. The US does not want to cooperate with the authorities of the International Criminal Court, slowing down and trying to stop the investigation into alleged war crimes committed by US soldiers in Afghanistan and other countries. But in exchange, they pressured European partners to get Julien Assange extradited to them as fast as possible.

It is clear the United States of America are not allies of European nations. It is clear the United States of America are not friends either. At best, they are that one friend who will appear once every now and then, requesting a favour, never paying it back, and disappearing when we need them the most. Who started all these wars in the Middle East, resulting in waves of immigration, bringing social and political instability to our continent? It was Americans. Who had to follow them in these pointless wars? Us, Europeans, due to some supposed treaties and for being “allies”. Of course, European governments also had interests in these countries, with European citizens protesting and opposing any intervention in the Middle East. But we still went there, following the US like sheep, like little dogs, thinking this would reinforce our ties with them and improve our cooperation. Where are they now? As soon as they saw the war was turning south, as soon as they saw they could not win this war, the US disappeared, bringing back all their troops home, leaving behind European soldiers to deal and clean up this mess. European troops are still deployed in these regions, with more and more people in Europe asking for their withdrawal, claiming they exist to protect us, and not the locals of these US-devasted countries.

No, the United States of America are not our allies, nor our friends. Nor is our relationship neutral. They are a one-way friendship, in their favour. And this “friendship” must be forgotten and buried deep in the ground.

If we look at the current actions of the US, with political interference in European matters, a ridiculous and never-ending trade war with half the globe, affecting the growth of the Eurozone countries, as well as the increase of incoherent and deplorable bills and laws signed over the past few months, such as the US Cloud Act, allowing US authorities of having access to user data stored on the servers of any US-based company, even if specific legislations such as EU’s GDPR doesn’t allow for European data to leave the continent, or recent moves to pass a bill that would effectively ban Huawei and ZTE from having anything to do with US telecom networks. This last bill wouldn’t really be needed anymore, with the US Commerce Department adding Huawei and 70 other entities to their “Entity List”, barring entire companies from purchasing anything made in the US, or being related to the US in any way, shape or form (software, hardware, etc), forcing them to first obtain a license from the US government to be able to continue using/purchasing American technology. The US Administration is also planning, or at least considering, applying similar measures to the European car industry, restricting imports on the basis of “national security”. Until a few days ago, the US used this same excuse to apply tariffs on Canadian steel and aluminium.

With moves like this, and seeing how little respect the US has for bilateral agreements and for close “allies”, nothing guarantees the US will not fully turn their back on us from one day to another, destroying our entire industry and economy along the way, by, for example, restricting European companies of trading/selling in the US without respecting a series of conditions… while US companies themselves do not pay their taxes in most European countries!

No, European countries must stand up against this abusive behaviour, and show to the US who really the global leader is: the European Union, with all 27 members united [28, although the UK is supposed to leave at some point], as well as all our commercial partners globally. We must come out of nowhere and surprise this emerging bully, by passing ridiculous laws ourselves, limiting the scope and activities of US companies in Europe. Some ridiculous yet valid examples would be modifying copyright laws, forcing to give up the rights on anything widely used, such as, for instance, Windows OS in general and the entire Office suit, striking a mortal blow to this US giant. Another example would be barring Google and their parent company Alphabet from supplying their services in the common market, due to posing “security threats to our national security and sovereignty”, seeing the amount of times the search giant broke our anti-trust laws and used our data without our permission. At the same time, with all the data gathered by Google, laws such as the US Cloud Act, and the closeness between Alphabet and the US authorities, it would be easy to claim their software/hardware is compromised, filled with backdoors for the NSA, CIA, FBI and the dozen other spying agencies the US has, and thus a ban would be justified.

There is no need to give hundreds of examples. By passing some simple laws worded in a very narrow way, the exact same way the US has been doing, it is possible to put under our control most of the US activities on our continent, excluding US companies from trading with us and thus reducing drastically their financial and their political power. In the long-term, this could end up being beneficial to the European tech industry, finally being free to innovate without having to fear competition from some of the biggest companies on the globe, with most of them having close to a monopoly in their specific market segments, instantly killing any competition.

And finally, the US is a country that has been relying on low taxes and high debt amounts to finance themselves over the years. Prohibiting the flow of European capitals into the US, and barring any European financial institution or European citizen from buying US debt, would pressurize the country to start thinking in different ways of repaying their 22 trillion dollars debt, up by some 2 trillion since the current Trump administration took office. After all, it is only thanks to people and financial institutions continuing to finance the US that they can adopt this current abusive behaviour.

Taking account of the worsening global political climate, and the rising global tensions between trading blocs, the European Union and its leaders, as well as we, European citizens, should take this opportunity to isolate and tame the American beast, securing our future and shining on the global stage.

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