Brand customs

Despite the position of the European Commission itself, markedly protectionist, Portugal does not seem to close doors to anyone, nor does it seem to open them completely.

Apart from the statements of George Glass, the US Ambassador to Lisbon, there was a stage for declarations of national sovereignty from the most diverse national political quarters.

From the reference to 900 years of historical independence, followed by arms open to American investment, by Minister Pedro Nuno Santos, to the prevalence of the democratically elected will, reiterated by the President of the Republic Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, a general and a particular conclusion is retained: if the world has new (old) walls that persist, Portugal seems to want to find the best of both sides of the barricade, sitting in the middle of them, just like Humpty Dumpty sat on the wall...

The ultimatum issued by the Ambassador warns us that the time when it was possible to find the middle ground ended and, with it, the whole chance of overcoming the global economic warmth disputed with two flags unscathed: Portugal has to choose one or there will be consequences, dixit. Bearing in mind the 5G award contest and the expansion of the Port of Sines, our old transatlantic ally is increasingly intolerant of its partners' free will.

Among the Sino-Portuguese bilateral relations, the tranquility of those who adhere to “mutual respect, consultations on an equal footing, and persist in peaceful development and cooperation” prevails, words by Xi Jinping in the last visit to Portugal.

In the wake of troubled presidential elections, the US lives at the height of a democratic chasm marked by the lack of moral structure and aggregating capacity of its current helmsman, not surprisingly the predominance of the agenda all or nothing at all - demonstrated here. Cooperation in the field of security and defense seems to have faded since American indifference towards the Lages Base, so Trump's position with NATO is not always fully discerned.

In terms of trade relations, the USA is Portugal's largest partner outside the EU, reflected in the increase in exports since 2016 (reaching 3.036,2 million in 2019) - exceeding the figures for exports to China by a large scale. (609.1 million in 2019), according to PorData.

From Lisbon to Beijing, there are more than nine thousand kilometers of distance that have been shortened over time. From Jorge Álvares to (inconsequential) takeover by CTG to EDP, through multiple strategic agreements in the commercial, cultural and diplomatic fields, the Sino-Portuguese relationship is based on bases that are built continuously and progressively under new opportunities and partnerships for the Portuguese business fabric. Considering the imminent 5G auction - postponed to the present month of October and expected to end in December - Huawei's entry into the telecommunications landscape in Portugal is clear, similarly to what already happens in other countries such as the United Kingdom.

Despite the European Commission's own position, markedly protectionist, that Ericsson and Nokia could replace Huawei in the supply of 5G, Portugal does not seem to close doors to anyone, nor does it appear to open them completely.

This position is based on our neutrality in the procedures of global geopolitics and allows us to foresee the soft customs of those who do not take sides, nor do they commit themselves to please the Chinese without disturbing the Americans, satisfying them without harassing those. Our external dependence does not save us from the extremism of these days without compromise, nor is there a place on the wall safe from great fall. May we be luckier than Humpty Dumpty.

The author writes according to the old spelling.


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