EU leaders invite Trump to Europe in attempt to rescue trade deal
by Mehmet Solmaz
BRUSSELSNov 10, 2016 - 12:00 am GMT+3
by Mehmet Solmaz
Nov 10, 2016 12:00 am
In a joint letter from European Council President Donald Tusk and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, EU leaders congratulated the Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump's electoral victory.
"We extend our sincere congratulations on your election as the 45th President of the United States of America," the letter read.
Europe reacted with stunned disbelief on Wednesday to Trump's victory, but the EU took the issue in a more professional manner and congratulated Trump several hours after his victory speech was held in New York.
"We would take this opportunity to invite you to visit Europe for an EU–U.S. summit at your earliest convenience. This conversation would allow for us to chart the course of our relations for the next four years," the letter said.
Brussels' quick reaction was interpreted by many as a helpless attempt to save the Transatlantic Trade & Investment Partnership (TTIP) from being history before it goes into effect. The Obama administration started the negotiations with the EU in 2013 and both sides were waiting for the result of the elections before deciding on the future of the TTIP. From the beginning of his campaign Trump had strongly criticized free trade agreements, arguing it is hurting the country's economy.
The EU leaders reminded Trump that "Today, it is more important than ever to strengthen transatlantic relations."
In their very first words to Trump, Brussels could not hold itself back from mentioning the TTIP, "Fortunately, the EU–U.S. strategic partnership is broad and deep: from our joint efforts to enhance energy security and address climate change, through EU–U.S. collaboration on facing threats to security in Europe's Eastern and Southern neighborhoods, and to the negotiations on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership – we should spare no effort to ensure that the ties that bind us remain strong and durable."