Can global trade occur without the blessing of the United States? A newly signed trade deal seems to support this idea (Deutsche Welle, June 29, 2019). At the recent G20 summit in Osaka, Japan, the European Union signed a “milestone trade agreement” with four South American nations—Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay. The EU continues to work on trade deals and has already completed more than 70. Currently, the EU is working on deals with several African nations, Canada, and Vietnam—without the participation of the U.S. While the EU seems to be reaching out to expand trade, some experts suggest that not only is America taking an increasingly protectionist stance with regard to trade, China and Russia are also becoming more protectionist, potentially opening the door for greater global influence by the EU.
The Bible sheds light on the topic of world trade in the end times. Prophecies reveal that at the end of the age, a German-led European “beast power” will emerge and develop a powerful trade bloc that will impact and enrich merchants around the globe. Many nations of the earth will prosper and live in luxury due to the power and influence of this “beast.” However, this European superpower will come to a sudden end at the return of Jesus Christ, and those who have been enriched by her “will weep and lament for her” (Revelation 18:8–19). For greater insights into the “beast” behind this coming trade superpower, read or listen to The Beast of Revelation: Myth, Metaphor or Soon-Coming Reality?.