European Commission receives go-ahead for US trade talks

The European Commission has been officially given the green light by EU member states to start new trade talks with the US aimed at eliminating tariffs on industrial products, Kallanish learns from an official statement.

The EC requested the approval of this mandate at the beginning of 2019, following the meeting in July 2018 between President Trump and Jean-Claude Juncker.

“The European Union is delivering on what President Trump and I have agreed on 25 July 2018,” Juncker, comments. “We want a win-win situation on trade, beneficial for both the EU and the U.S. Notably, we want to slash tariffs on industrial products as this could lead to an additional increase in EU and U.S. exports worth around €26 billion. The European Union and the United States have one of the most important economic relationships in the world. We want to further strengthen trade between us based on the positive spirit of last July.”

The initiation of the process to negotiate a new trade agreement has already effectively negated Trump’s threat of barriers on imports of cars and automotive parts. Nevertheless, many points still need be assessed, including the existing tariffs on imports in the US of steel and aluminium products from the EU.

“This is a welcome decision that will help ease trade tensions,” comments EU trade commissioner Cecilia Malmstroem. “We are now ready to start formal talks for these two targeted agreements that will bring tangible benefits for people and economies on both sides of the Atlantic. I am convinced that breaking down barriers to trade between us can be win-win.”

While giving the green light for the trade talks to start, major countries such as France voiced their opposition to the move, as this came less than two months before the election of a new European Parliament.