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Word Count: 421
US trade to and from the 15 EU countries adding the amount of mutual foreign investment add up to more then 16 trillion dollarsBy contrast the US economic relationship with Japan is 444 billion less than a thir of US-EU total If the US-EU economic relationship were a country it would be the third largest economy on earth outdone only by GDPs of Japan and the US and growing much faster than eitherSo why should these two great economic blocks be embarking on a trade war that can only work against their mutual interest And why should it be based on bananas which neither of them growsBecause of conflict America imposed section 301 which gives Washington the right to impose puntitive unilateral sanctions and tariffs on the exports of any country that the US deems to be trading unfairlyThe move does more than threaten to cut off Americas supplies of Parma ham and Belgian waffles It also signals a crisis of confidence in the World Trade Organization the supposed arbiter of world trade disputesThe immediate worry is that hostilities broke out on other fronts too America is fuming about the EUs ban on hormone-treated beef It is unhappy with Europes reluctance to embrace genetically modified food It is angry over European subsidies for Airbus Boengs rival in aerospace It is concerned that an EU directive on data-privacy and proposed rules on aircraft noise discriminate against American firms Furthermore fear that WTO seems incapable of enforcing its rules After all WTO has told EU several times that its banana regime is illegal But it has not been able to bring the EU into line because it rules on compliance are so unclearIf countries feel that WTO does not work they will be tempted to bypass or ignore it The predictability and fairness of a rules-based system could be lost In its place would be an arbitrary one based on power and influence Almost inevitable there would
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