The Future of US-Europe Relations:
Institutional constraints and public opinion may render changes smaller than expected
Finnish Institute of International Affairs
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transatlantic relationship continues to evolve. However, even as US
administrations change, the security and economic dimensions of the
transatlantic relationship are not very susceptible to radical policy shifts,
thanks to history, institutions and mutual interests.
US presidents are, in theory, able to make sweeping changes to US participation
and activity levels within NATO, for example, but in practice there are a
number of constraints, which have led to the historical fact that US presidents
have supported appropriate US security engagement in Europe and NATO.
While the US
presidential election created the illusion that the next US president would
seek to withdraw from agreements aimed at furthering trade liberalization, and
that this would be supported by the population, actual opinion polls show
strong support for continued US efforts to negotiate trade deals and actively
engage in global trade.