I will never stop being amazed, I guess, by the arrogance of some US administrations (and this regardless of who is seating at the White House or having the majority in the Congres). Yesterday again, another example was reported by the EU observer. The US administration is again trying to tweak things its own protectionist way in the field of air transport. Contrarily to what many people might think, the USA are not at all a free trade country (except for others... of course). There are many protectionist tarifs and laws, in many sectors, from steel production to shipping, including infamous regulations on air transport not only in US skies but also to and from them.
These laws are mainly consisting in a scheme to collect all kinds of personal data on passengers (even ones transiting through the US airports but not stopping there), in complete violation of basic civil rights. This was forcedly imposed on European Union companies, under the threat to simply ban them from Transatlantic flights. The EU, under heavy pressure, first balked, before agreeing to the scheme. It is not the decision it should be the proudest of. The Council had to force it upon the European Parliament and, understandably, there was a nasty row in the European Court of Justice. Another set of unfair laws concerning the American airspace is that companies who want to have internal flights in the US must have at least 75% of their shares into US hands, as well as a majority of their board controlled by US citizens. For this reason, the EU has tried for years to negotiate an open skies agreement. This has never worked, simply because the US administrations have blocked all proposals, without ever making any opening.
Now, the EU is willing to reduce gas emissions by airlines and plane traffic. This will concern flights inside the EU but also (logically) flights from and to the EU. The system will be an emission rights stock exchange, just like the one for CO2 already existing under the Kyoto treaty. Nothing extremely constraining, but already a major positive step for the environment and against global warming. Air traffic is indeed (like auto traffic) one of the top three polluters in the world. Well, as was to be expected (the US already blocked a similar noise reduction scheme), the US administration is using all kind of pressure means, including threats, to block such a legislation to be passed in the EU. One of these threats would be to block completely the already failing negotiation on the Open Skies Treaty.
In one word, non content of polluting their own country and gassing the planet, not happy enough in ignoring global warming issues, the USA also want to allow their weakened airline companies to gas our skies, while EU companies would still be fobidden to fly US internal airspace. Speak about fair trade?