EU and US partners not enemies, Juncker tells Trump
Donald Trump has threatened to impose tariffs on imported cars.
European Union Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker has told President Donald Trump that the EU and the US are partners and allies, “not enemies,” and must work together, as trade negotiations began at the White House.
Mr Juncker told Mr Trump during a meeting in the Oval Office that the trade talks are important. He suggested the two sides discuss “reducing tariffs” instead of increasing them.
Mr Trump noted the two continents together make up more than 50% of the world’s trade, and said it would be good if they removed all tariffs and trade barriers as part of the discussions.
Mr Trump has threatened to impose tariffs on imported cars, prompting the Europeans to suggest they may place tariffs on 20 billion dollars (£15 billion) of American goods in retaliation.
Earlier, Mr Trump accused China of “vicious” tactics on trade.
China is targeting our farmers, who they know I love & respect, as a way of getting me to continue allowing them to take advantage of the U.S. They are being vicious in what will be their failed attempt. We were being nice - until now! China made $517 Billion on us last year.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 25, 2018
He tweeted that China was specifically targeting US farmers with retaliatory tariffs because “they know I love & respect” them.
His comments came after his administration announced a plan to provide 12 billion dollars (£9 billion) in emergency relief for farmers who have been hit by the president’s trade disputes with China and other countries.
During talks with Mr Juncker, Mr Trump said the US wants a “fair trade deal” with the EU.
He said: “We just want it to be a level playing field for our farmers, for our manufacturers, for everybody,” suggesting the EU could also be a “big beneficiary” of a revised trading agreement.
Chinese President Xi Jinping said at an international summit in South Africa that the world faces “a choice between cooperation and confrontation,” in remarks that criticised escalating US tariffs on goods from China and other major trading partners.
He warned that those who pursue “economic hegemony” will “only end up hurting themselves.”
Mr Trump has placed tariffs on imported steel and aluminium, saying they pose a threat to US national security, an argument that the EU and Canada reject.
He has also threatened to slap tariffs on imported cars, trucks and auto parts, potentially targeting imports that last year totalled 335 billion dollars (£254 billion).
The president has repeatedly called the EU – which includes many of the US’s oldest and most committed allies – an unfair trading partner and even labelled it a “foe”.