Trump says European Union officials want to negotiate trade deal in Washington visit

Cornelia Mascio
Luglio 19, 2018

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker is expected to visit the White House July 25, when economic growth will be up for discussion along with foreign and security policy, counterterrorism and energy security, The Wall Street Journal reported.

But in a chilling warning, the US President warned of severe consequences if they can't reach a "fair" agreement. "Now you wouldn't think of the European Union but they're a foe".

President Donald Trump on Wednesday amped up the trade fight with the European Union, reportedly threatening "tremendous retribution" if there is not a fair auto-trade deal.

Mr Juncker told reporters: "We will continue to react tit-for-tat to the provocations that might be thrown at us".

"All the efforts to divide the Europeans are in vain", Juncker said.

Mr Trump left European figureheads furious in June after imposing 20 percent tariffs on steel and aluminium and has threatened to levy tariffs as high as 25 percent on cars.

The US President maintains the EU's 10 percent tariff on cars to be unfair compared to the US 2.5 percent tariff, although the latter maintains a 25 percent tariff on pickup trucks.

Besides the tariffs, the USA has threatened European companies with huge fines if they continue to operate in Iran, after Trump reimposed far-reaching sanctions while pulling out of the landmark 2015 deal on curbing Tehran's nuclear programme.

"So far as we know, President Xi, at the moment, does not want to make a deal", Kudlow said at the Delivering Alpha conference sponsored by CNBC and Institutional Investor magazine.

Larry Kudlow, who heads the White House Economic Council, said separately at an investment forum in NY that he has been told that Juncker would be "bringing a very important free trade offer" to Trump on his visit.

"I can't confirm that, this is what I am hearing from ambassadors and others".

Washington has already rebuffed an offer from the bloc to open its markets wider to U.S. imports, including cars, as part of a reciprocal but limited trade deal.

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