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Seminar: The implications of the US presidential election for the transatlantic relationship

FISA and the The Finnish Institute of International Affairs (FIIA) co-organized a seminar on Tuesday, 14 May 2024, with the title ”A moment of truth? The implications of the US presidential election for the transatlantic relationship”. Garret J. Martin, Senior Professorial Lecturer & Co-Director of the Transatlantic Policy Center, the School of International Service of American University, delivered a keynote speech in the event, followed by comments by Matti Pesu, leading researcher at FIIA, and Tyyne Karjalainen, research fellow at FIIA. The seminar was chaired by Ville Sinkkonen, senior research fellow at FIIA and the chairperson of FISA.

As was the case in 2016 and 2020, the result of the 2024 United States presidential election between Joe Biden and Donald Trump could have profound implications for American foreign policy and the future of the country’s broader global role. While Americans tend to base their votes on domestic issues in general elections, pertinent grand-strategic and foreign policy questions are also on the ballot. These include, for instance, the geographical scope of US global engagement, the US stance on multilateral institutions, the future of the transatlantic relationship and US support for Ukraine. This seminar explored the possible trajectories of US foreign policy vis-à-vis Europe in 2025 and beyond. How would Biden’s and Trump’s policies towards US allies differ? How would the two presidents position themselves in response to Russia’s war of aggression in Ukraine? What impact could the election have on US priorities in different strategic theatres, especially in Europe and the Indo-Pacific?