The EU is threatening to increase sanctions on the US in retaliation for what they see as unfair tax breaks for US companies.
This strikes me as nearly bordering on the comical. Europe engages in economic protectionism on a massive scale. What they’re angry about less less to do with US protectionism than it does about the US’ tax rates. The Europeans know that their punitive tax structures means that European corporations just can’t compete with their American counterparts. Rather than do the smart thing and lower those tax rates to increase competitiveness, the Europeans think they can blackmail and cajole the US into adopting a more confiscatory tax system.
Unlike Europe, our government is structurally forced to be more responsive to the will of the people. We don’t have a parliamentary system in which intergovernment coalitions matter more than the constituency. Our system is specifically designed so that even the more patrician Senate must be aware and responsive to the will of the people. Europe’s systems of government, especially with the EU, are not designed to be nearly as democratic, and therefore can do things that the US government can’t.
In other words, because the American people don’t want to adopt a European-style tax hell (with the exception of the socialist wing of the Democratic Party), we’re not going to budge on the issue.
If the EU wants to place sanctions on the US, that’s their perogative. The EU needs access to the US’ markets far more than we need access to the EU’s markets. We’ll be happy to persue better trade relations with the Far East and Eastern Europe while the EU states continue their whining.
This is emblematic of the EU – a lot of talk, a lot of anti-Americanism, and no cojones to do anything productive about it. If they honestly think that this is going to do anything other than send their economy into the toilet, then they’ve got a few screws loose.