March 1, 2024

Franz Schilhorn: Bad Americans, Good Russians

Franz Schilhorn: Bad Americans, Good Russians

How happy we would be today if we had this liquid gas from the United States at our disposal. Instead, we fear an ice winter because we have wholeheartedly surrendered ourselves to Russia, which is now using contractually guaranteed gas supplies as a political bargaining chip. The disappointment is great, which is why calls are getting louder that the West should make itself dramatically more independent of rogue states. Moreover, we should trade in the future only with friendly countries. The morals preached in political speeches must be followed by actions at the end. Unfortunately, this is not as easy as you might think. Unfortunately, many of our much-needed goods lie dormant in the dust of countries that are less specialized in terms of democracy and human rights.

It may soon become clear how naive this situation is. What will we do if China attacks Taiwan? Will China then become the new Russia, says energy expert Carl Rose in Austria’s current agenda podcast? Thus, this should be the case. We just can’t keep up. The list of countries we can trade with in good conscience will be very short. The high level of prosperity in our small economy will quickly vanish into thin air without international integration. About half a million jobs depend on trade with countries outside the European Union, and we generate more than half of our wealth outside our national borders.

But nothing is against it, business relations To expand into friendly democracies. nothing It would be more correct than resuming negotiations for the Transatlantic Free Trade Agreement between the United States and the European Union, which NGOs have brought down in very questionable ways. The CETA has impressively demonstrated the unfair means by which opponents of free trade operate. The Chamber of Labor described the signing of the agreement as a “black day for fair international trade.”

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Nearly five years later, a chlorinated American chicken has not been able to cross the Canadian border into an Austrian refrigerated section, and hospitals, water supplies, garbage disposal, or local transportation have not been privatized. No Canadian company has sued the European Union to liberalize some sectors and privatize companies. Everything is firmly in the hands of the state, and we remain pleased with the highest protection for the consumer, the environment, and employees in the world.

What has changed, however, is the economic relations with Canada. Austrian exports to Canada increased by more than a quarter, twice as much as exports to the rest of the world. Significantly stronger momentum can be expected from a trade agreement with the USA. In light of what is in store for us economically, we must get rid of resentment of America as quickly as possible. And we realize that the Americans are the best Russians.