What goes around comes around
In recent years, the US government has increasingly bullied other (mostly smaller) nations. Now there are signs that the rest of the world is beginning to push back. Here’s Matt Welch at Reason:
Once upon a time, citizens of the United States could travel to almost every country in the European Union for 90 days without asking any government for permission beyond showing a passport at the initial point of entry. It was—and still is, for a few waning months—a marvelous if underacknowledged achievement for liberty.
Alas, the days of frictionless travel will soon be a memory. Starting at a so-far-unspecified date in early 2024, Americans and residents of 62 other countries that currently enjoy visa-free visitation to the Schengen Area of the E.U. will need to pay a fee and submit an online application (including biometric information, work experience, medical conditions, and initial itinerary), then pass a criminal/security background check, before enjoying that croissant in gay Paree. The grimly named European Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS) is projected to cost 7 euros per application and take up to 14 days to render a decision.
This was done partly in retaliation for a similar system that the US imposed on Europeans back in 2009. And it’s just one of many ways in which the global rise in nationalism is affecting people who like to travel, invest or trade with other nations:
Governments love having humans maximally searchable on databases, using digitized identification. For a long time, it was cranky Americans, with their stubborn notions of privacy and liberty—the right to move through life without showing papers to people with guns—who led the resistance against being answerable, of having to ask officials for permission. Now it’s us pushing the rest of the “free world” toward having global biometric and banking information just a single government click away. Shame, that.
As far as I can tell, both political parties are on board with most of these policies.
Update: In case anyone wonders whether America has enough clout to bully other nations, check out this tweet: