Ted Malloch, possible US ambassador to the EU, image from Brexit Central webpage
Ted Malloch (pictured), who is being touted as the next US ambassador to the EU, said in a recent interview on the BBC Daily Politics Show that he thinks the EU is about “bureaucrats running amok” and bragged that in a previous ambassadorial role he “helped to bring down another union, the Soviet Union”, writes Catherine Feore.
The only record we can find of an ambassadorial level position for Malloch is a posting as Deputy Executive Secretary in the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland (1988-1991). The Berlin Wall came down on 9 November 1989; based on this timeline, we can estimate that the EU has at best another couple of years. It would be interesting to hear more about his role in the fall of the Soviet Union, as the history books are silent.
Jo Leinen MEP, a German Social Democrat, has said that Malloch should be refused accreditation as ambassador to the EU. According to Leinen: “What we don’t need now is an obstructionist who dreams of the end of the euro and of taming and wrestling down the EU like he allegedly did with the Soviet Union.”
— Jo Leinen (@jo_leinen) January 30, 2017
European Commissioner Vytenis Andriukaitis described Malloch’s comparison of the EU with the USSR as an insult. Andriukaitis’ family was deported to Siberia in June 1941, where he was born in 1951. They were allowed to return to Lithuania in 1958. While not wishing to underplay Malloch’s role in the break-up of the USSR, we think that the commissioner might have a larger footnote in history, having fought for social democracy in Lithuania since 1976 and served his country for several years in public office.
— Vytenis Andriukaitis (@V_Andriukaitis) January 30, 2017
It is also strange that Malloch, who was allegedly so successful in tearing down the Soviet Union, is so willing to help Putin recreate his ‘sphere of influence’. Putin’s views hark back to the bad old days when places such as Ukraine, Lithuania and others were not sovereign states free to decide who they traded and co-operated with. This is inconsistent – but being inconsistent, contradictory and just plain dumb would appear to be part of the new order.
The new order
Trump has surrounded himself with a posse of blagueurs. Malloch fits the bill perfectly: arrogant, hard-wired to a view of the world that isn’t borne out by the situation on the ground and able to contradict himself in an instant without blinking an eye.
Like Trump, Malloch considers Farage a suitable counsel on EU affairs; both mistakenly believe Farage to be a popular politician responsible for steering the great British public towards a ‘Leave’ vote in the UK’s EU referendum. While Farage certainly has no end of bluster and a small coterie, the ‘Vote Leave’ campaign considered him to be an electoral liability – something that Farage has proven by standing for a parliamentary seat on seven different occasions in at least four different constituencies without winning a seat.
Over the years, the United States has supported European integration and worked with the EU to tackle many common concerns, from security to climate change. This is a relationship that has borne fruit; we are each other’s best trading partner and strongest ally. Up to now EU/US relations have been win-win. An administration intent on damaging the EU might find that it is more resilient than it thought. Come what may, the EU can weather this storm, rather than breaking the European Union, the new administration is likely to galvanize support for Europe.
According to Malloch, Thatcher allegedly described him as a ‘global sherpa’.
In an interview with Brexit Central, who are “unapologetically optimistic about Britain’s future as an independent, free-trading, global-facing sovereign nation”, Malloch said we can “rest assured” that “Trump is a free trader by instinct, and as he has stated he has no plan to return to the failed Smoot-Hawley plan of the 1930s,” referring to the protectionist act that raised tariffs on imported goods in 1930 – and which deepened the depression. President Trump’s inaugural address and actions show his commitment to a protectionist America, something that should cause the UK some concern.
On Brexit, Malloch has joked that the UK could be the 51st state of the EU: “In my view with a shared Whig history, the King James Bible, the Anglican Church, long historical memory — all of these things make up a valuable Anglo-Atlanticist patrimony. Britain and America belong together, not in Europe.” He has also said that a trade deal could be done in ninety days; this may be true, but what sort of a trade deal would be protectionist and promote British interests?
The UK will need a US deal, but it will be a small and weak negotiating partner desperate to demonstrate that Brexit was not an act of monumental folly.