Areas of contention between the Bush administration and U.S. allies:
President Bush took steps early this month to restrict steel imports, exacerbating trade frictions with the European Union. The EU, meanwhile, is challenging tax subsidies received by thousands of U.S. companies, including Boeing and Microsoft, and threatening punitive tariffs on $4 billion of U.S. goods.
Bush's plan for a missile defense shield has rattled key allies, who worry it could trigger a new arms race. He also has caused alarm by saying the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile treaty should be discarded or rewritten to permit such a missile defense.
Bush's withdrawal from the Kyoto treaty on global warming without notifying allies has provoked many European leaders and environmentalists worldwide. On the eve of his visit to Europe, Bush was more conciliatory, acknowledging the seriousness of climate change and promising to work toward reducing harmful emissions.
Comments by Bush's national security adviser, Condoleezza Rice, during last year's campaign, and more recently by Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld, appeared to signal a desire by Bush to bring U.S. peacekeepers home from Bosnia and Kosovo. In separate visits to Europe recently, Rumsfeld and Secretary of State Colin Powell sought to assure allies that the United States would do nothing abruptly, and that the principal of "we went in together, we'll leave together" still applies. However, there are frictions between Europe and the United States on the number of peacekeeping troops in the Balkans and the level of future European participation in such forces.
Bush is still trying to win the approval of European allies, Russia and China on a U.S.-British plan to ease U.N. sanctions on trade with Iraq in consumer goods while tightening a ban on military items. Other than Britain, few allies seem interested in maintaining a hard line on Iraq's Saddam Hussein. There is even less support for Washington's backing of opposition groups within Iraq, and almost no support for sanctions on Iran.
The United States opposes treaties to abolish land mines and to create an International Criminal Court. The United States claims the land mine agreement could hamper U.S. operations in South Korea and the criminal court measure would undermine U.S. sovereignty.
Candidate Bush and Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill criticized the Clinton administration's support for international loans to help bail out ailing economies such as Russia's. Such rhetoric added to Moscow's early resentment toward the Bush administration. More recently, however, the Bush administration backed $17 billion in International Monetary Fund and World Bank loans to Turkey and a $13 billion package for Argentina.