Jean-Claude Juncker

Europe's Jean-Claude Juncker is saving free trade

JUnker around money signs
Illustration: Lazaro Gamio/Axios

As the U.S. has abandoned its role as a champion of global free trade, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker has quietly been cutting deals around the globe, bolstering free trade pacts and international cooperation many feared (or hoped) were dying in the age of Trump.

What's happening: At this weekend's G20 summit all eyes were on Trump and Xi's agreement to relax further trade war escalation. But perhaps lost in the shuffle was the official announcement of two major trade deals by the EU, with Vietnam and the Mercosur alliance, a bloc that includes Brazil and Argentina, South America's largest economies.

EU's Juncker calls Brexit deal "the only one possible"

Jean-Claude Juncker
European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker. Photo: Sean Gallup via Getty Images

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker called the Brexit withdrawal agreement EU leaders approved Sunday the "best and only deal possible," reports the BBC.

The big picture: It took 20 months for the EU and the U.K. to finalize a Brexit deal, and while Juncker and Prime Minister Theresa May agree that it's the best possible outcome for the British people, others beg to differ — including hardline members of May's own Conservative party. Parliament is expected to vote on the agreement Dec. 12, but approval is far from guaranteed. Juncker told the BBC that if the House of Commons votes no, "we would have no deal."