A core principle of the liberal international order (LIO) established by Europe and the United States (US) after World War II was separating security from economic issues as much as possible. However, since 2016 this has become increasingly untenable. A more protectionist, hawkish, and less multilateral US has questioned aspects of the LIO and America’s natural alignment with the European Union (EU) and others under the World Trade Organization’s (WTO’s) rules of trade. The EU has simultaneously recognized the need to better protect its market and interests with new, assertive trade instruments. Placed in the context of a fragmenting international order and intense domestic debates on trade and globalization, this article assesses the extent to which the EU is aligning its trade policy with that of the US. It argues that the EU has adopted a more geostrategic and realist-based trade policy, while retaining its normative preference for multilateralism, thus leaving in place several differences vis-à-vis the US, while also raising new points of disagreement. Although China is a common challenge for both allies, the US may also find itself on the receiving end of a more assertive EU. The article discusses the implications for transatlantic relations, the LIO and rules-based trade.