Trump’s team talks TTIP, Brexit, EU and Brussels

US President-elect Donald Trump is open-minded says his adviser Anthony Scaramucci | Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Trump’s team talks TTIP, Brexit, EU and Brussels

Adviser to president-elect says Trump ‘wants to have a great relationship with the EU. I really believe that.’


1/17/17, 6:15 PM CET

Anthony Scaramucci, the billionaire founder of Skybridge Capital and now assistant to U.S. president-elect Donald Trump, said Trump is not anti-EU and gave his backing to Theresa May’s Brexit plans in a closed-door briefing on behalf of the incoming U.S. administration in Davos on Tuesday.

Speaking shortly after Theresa May announced the U.K. would not seek to remain in the EU’s single market, Scaramucci backed May’s determination to go it alone. “I wouldn’t bet against the United Kingdom,” Scaramucci said, adding that “London was the financial capital of Europe 500 years before the European Union. 500 years from now it will be (still) or it will be a major financial center.”

Brexit, Scaramucci said, happened partly because “97 percent of the world’s population got left out of the economic recovery,” and they want more control in their lives, a sentiment Trump has sought to tap into.

Most surprising: Scaramucci’s belief that president-elect Trump “wants to have a great relationship with the EU. I really believe that, If we can get the trade deals right.” Pressed on the specifics of what that means for ongoing negotiations for a Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, Scaramucci said “I don’t know.”

“I am student of European history. The EU has been a success, it has kept the peace where it has been difficult to maintain peace,” Scaramucci said.

That’s where the compliments ended: “When political systems are too much government-based it has a harmful effect on the people,” he said, explaining that the EU increasing central power in Brussels has meant that officials “may not fully understand local markets. His (Trump’s) political observation is not that he wants the EU to go away but that it is not being managed effectively for the people it is supposed to serve.”

Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström and outgoing United States Trade Representative Michael Froman on Tuesday published a joint assessment of more than three years of sometimes stumbling TTIP talk.  Malmström said: “The EU has left no stone unturned in trying to achieve a balanced, ambitious and high-standard TTIP agreement.”

Scaramucci also explained that the Trump administration would focus on creating conditions for better quality jobs, simplyfing the tax code for both individuals and corporations, and a series of public-private infrastructure projects. Striking a socially-minded tone, Scaramucci said: “We need to fix the wage problem” faced by lower and middle income groups, before comparing Trump’s economic approach to that of Teddy Roosevelt and praising Henry Ford for being a progressive on labor relations a century ago.

Ryan Heath