BREAKING BRITANNIA NEWS
Trump, who recently signed a Phase 1 trade deal which chilled a bitter trade war with China, has predicted the EU’s position on commerce”worse than China” and threatened to impose tariffs on its own cars and other products.
European officials say they’re eager to work with Trump to tackle any irritants in the relationship, but they warn that they’ll retaliate against any U.S. efforts to penalize the trading bloc.
“In the economic world, we are evenly matched. “We will respond to U.S. tariffs, and we all know how to structure them to work.”
On Friday, two days after Trump was acquitted in his impeachment trial in the U.S. Senate, the United States ambassador to the EU,” Gordon Sondland, stated he was being recalled from his post, which makes the route of any future discussions even more unsure. Sondland had testified during the impeachment inquiry at the U.S. House of Representatives.
The near-term outcome could possibly be a”mini-deal” such as the Stage 1 agreement signed with Beijing last month that doesn’t solve bedrock difficulties but will make it possible for both sides to declare a truce, trade experts say.
DISPUTES AND DEFICITS
The USA, the world’s biggest importer, and also the 27-member block EU face entrenched battles over airline subsidies, agricultural trade barriers, and EU intends to tax large U.S. electronic businesses, among other difficulties.
The EU has been the top U.S. export marketplace in 2018, prior to the United Kingdom abandoned the bloc, led by aerospace goods and computers. Following scotching a free-trade arrangement with Europe, the Trump administration is focused on shrinking its rising deficit in merchandise, which hit here a record $178 billion in 2019.
“That can’t continue,” United States Trade Representative (USTR) Robert Lighthizer said in December.
After the Trump administration obstructed the appointment of judges, in December , the World Trade Organization’s appellate body, which acts as a supreme court for global trade disputes, became paralyzed.
Brussels and the White House are at a time when EU officials say Trump looks augmented by his acquittal from the impeachment procedure, and contains amped up his polarizing rhetoric.
“We have allies. We’ve got enemies. Sometimes the allies are enemies, but we simply don’t understand it,” Trump said at a prayer breakfast in Washington last week, opinions that have placed European officials on edge.
After a favorable initial meeting between Trump and the new chief of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland in January,” Trump, in a surprise move, enlarged steel tariffs first put in place in 2018.
EU officials say they are attempting to move the relationship forward in a”transactional” manner.
Tomas Baert, head of trade and agriculture to the EU’s delegation in Washington, stated on Friday that EU Trade Commissioner Phil Hogan will travel to Washington per month to try to work a limited deal”that’s tweetable.” Such a deal will allow Trump”to state we went from the worst trade relationship to the very best relationship,” Baert explained.
That does not mean, however, that Europe will probably be consuming”chlorinated chicken,” he stated, or buying genetically modified agricultural products, referring to U.S. practices shunned in Europe.
TARIFF THREAT LOOMS
The Trump administration, which has pursued an”America First” agenda geared toward rebalancing global trade flows in favor of the United States, has threatened to levy 25 percent tariffs on foreign cars and parts from Europe.
On Friday, top White House economic advisor Larry Kudlow said the Trump administration had temporarily suspended its plans to taxation European auto imports,”while we operate through a good-faith campaign with respect to the chance of an EU trade deal”
But Baert believes the tariff danger will last, because Trump”is a tariff man and that’s the language that he speaks.” Any U.S. tariffs will be met with retaliation, Baert highlighted. “We are not supplying our other cheek if we’re likely to be hit on one of them,” he explained.
PEARS FOR SEAFOOD
A scaled-down deal could include enhanced market access for European apples and pears, on one hand, and U.S. seafood, on the otherhand. Food security standards that have retained farm goods from the market are also according to several sources briefed on discussions.
“It would be tricky to do something comprehensive, however a mini-deal is surely on the table,” said Miriam Sapiro, a former acting U.S. Trade Representative in the Obama government and the co-head of Sard Verbinnen’s Washington office. “I think it’s doable and it is realistic if both sides will remain focused on areas of convergence.”
Trump’s concern with the Nov. 3 U.S. election offers some promise for a small agreement, Germany’s Roettgen explained. “For Trump, it is important that he can market a trade deal to Republicans, which is an opportunity for us to have the ability to achieve something,” he said.
Reporting by David Lawder and Andrea Shalal; Editing by Heather Timmons and Paul Simao
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