EU new trade commissioner to reset the trade negotiations with the U.S

on Dec 30, 2019
Updated: Mar 11, 2020
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  • New EU trade commissioner wishes to reset trade negotiations with the U.S.
  • Dispute over farm products that the White House wishes to include in the deal stands in the way of finalizing an agreement.
  • Washington's paralysis of WTO's judicial arm is another matter of conflict between the two parties.
  • European Commission sees complications in a trade deal if the U.S increases tariffs on EU goods next month.

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2019 has been the year of trade negotiations for the United States of America. While the trade optimism has started to circle the talks with China with both parties agreeing to sign the phase 1 deal in the upcoming weeks, negotiations with the European Union are still lagging behind.

EU Trade Commissioner Is To Meet USTR For The First Time Next Month

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Irishman Phil Hogan, who has recently been elected as the new trade commissioner for the European Union (EU), stated on Monday that in his first meeting with the U.S trade representative (USTR) next month, he wishes to put the trade talks regarding multiple matters of gravity on reset.

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President Trump had announced increased tariffs on steel and aluminum products imported from Europe in 2018. Another $7.5 billion of EU goods faced punitive tariffs due to an ongoing dispute regarding unfair subsidies to the European largest airplane manufacturer, Airbus. In recent months, Trump Administration has also threated France of similar tariffs if it doesn’t abrogate its digital services tax.

According to Irish Times Newspaper, Hogan has had a phone conversation with the USTR, Robert Lighthizer, before Christmas. The newspaper reported Hogan to have quoted:

“We agreed to meet in Washington in mid-January to discuss the long list of issues causing strain in the relationship between the EU and the US. There is no point in getting into the details of resolving trade irritants unless we agree a line on a common trade agenda. I will be seeking a reset of the EU/USD trade relationship on issues like tariffs on steel and aluminum and the threat of U.S tariffs in response to a digital tax in Europe”

As per the experts, the U.S and EU are aiming to close a deal that minimizes import duties at large. However, the dispute over farm products that the White House wishes to include in the deal stands in the way of finalizing an agreement as the EU is unwilling to negotiate on it.

European Commission Says U.S Threats Of Increased Tariffs Stand In The Way Of Negotiations

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The White House had recently paralyzed the judicial arm of the World Trade Organization (WTO). Being an imperative component of the global trading system, Trump’s move regarding WTO has also turned into a matter of conflict between the two parties.

The European Commission has expressed its concerns about Washington’s imposed tariffs on French products. Owing to the ongoing dispute regarding Airbus, the commission commented, if the U.S increases tariffs on a wider range of EU goods next month, it will become a major hurdle to successful trade negotiations.

As evident since the start of this year, trade wars have directed the global financial markets. In an event that the trade war between the U.S and the EU escalates in the upcoming months, the manifestation on global stocks would be significant, as per the analysts.

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