EU has profound disagreements with US on trade policy: EU trade commissioner

Xinhua
The European Union has profound disagreements with the United States on trade policy, the European Commissioner in charge of trade Cecilia Malmstrom said on Thursday.
Xinhua

The European Union has profound disagreements with the United States on trade policy, the European Commissioner in charge of trade Cecilia Malmstrom said on Thursday.

Malmstrom made the remarks when exchanging views with members of the European Parliament during the meeting of the Committee on International Trade in Brussels.

"We are not negotiating anything, we have a working group. We have profound disagreements with the United States on trade policy," said the trade chief.

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and US President Donald Trump agreed in July not to impose any tariffs as long as the discussions were ongoing.

"We had a constructive discussion with President Trump and his team. And we arrived a political agreement to create a executive working group that we try to work on positive agenda," she said.

Malmstrom reiterated that the EU disagree on the imposition of tariffs with the US."The tariffs on steel and aluminium are — in our view and I have said it many times — illegal. They are not compatible with WTO. You cannot motivate them from internal security reasons. So we have taken that decision to the WTO alongside with many other colleagues and friends," she said.

"The imposition of tariffs are not only affect the global economy,but also the US economy...we have seen many US companies and politicians who voiced concerns because goods are becoming more expensive...tariffs are generally a bad thing," she added.

Malmstrom said the EU is ready to go to zero tariffs on all industry goods if the US does the same.

"It will on reciprocal bases. And it will be limited to industry goods. The agriculture would not be in the agreement nor the public procuement," she said. "

She also underlined that the EU is still preparing a list of possible countermeasures in case the US tariffs on cars and car parts come into force.

"A dispute on car tariffs would have very serious consequences for the automotive sector in many European countries not only the car producing countries but the car parts producing countries and others," Malmstrom said.

"So that a list was on preparation. If necessary we will use it," added she.

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