Hopefully, there is enough bipartisanship left in Washington to support such vitally important trade policy changes initiated by the present administration.
Meanwhile, there are things the White House can do on its own.
For example, Washington should stop Germany from repeating a Greek tragedy in Italy. Unless that is done forthwith, there is no sense for the U.S. to foot three quarters of a bill for the largest military and political alliance the world has ever known.
The U.S. economic and financial authorities know everything they need to know about the Italian budget for 2019 — an entirely appropriate counter-cyclical fiscal policy well within the euro area budget rules. But Germany, with France in tow, seems hellbent on using its own reading of that budget as a pretext for destroying the Italian economy and its democratically elected government. That is a pathetic example of how far the sinking governing elites are ready to go to fight their opponents in the elections to the European Parliament scheduled for May 2019.
Washington has been there before. In July 2015, the U.S. helped France keep Greece in the euro area, saving that long-suffering country from economic and political destruction. Working together, Washington and Paris squashed the German plan for throwing Greece out of the monetary union.
One can now see how important it was to keep Greece functioning. The Greeks are hosting huge assets of a U.S.-led alliance controlling the Eastern Mediterranean and battlefield operations in the Middle East.
Italy is equally central to U.S. national security. The country has many allied military installations, with command headquarters in Naples and a new hub in Sicily covering the Mediterranean, North Africa, Middle East and most of the Balkans. None of that is compromised by Italy's right-of-center government. On the contrary, Italy remains an unquestionably loyal alliance member.
Apart from the urgent task of shielding the military alliance from German mischief, the U.S. should also nudge Berlin toward a more balanced economic growth that would benefit its euro area partners and expand European markets for American goods and services.