EU, US explore goods tariffs pact amid trade tensions

By: |
Brussels | Published: August 30, 2018 10:36:22 PM

The European Union's top trade official says the bloc is in exploratory talks with the United States to see whether it would be possible to reach a limited trans-Atlantic agreement on the tariff of goods.

Image: Reuters

The European Union’s top trade official says the bloc is in exploratory talks with the United States to see whether it would be possible to reach a limited trans-Atlantic agreement on the tariff of goods. EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom said Thursday that “this could be, possibly, a more limited trade agreement focused on tariffs on goods only.”

As an attempt to ease trade tensions, U.S. President Donald Trump and EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker agreed last month to start talks intended to achieve “zero tariffs” and “zero subsidies” on non-automotive industrial goods. Malmstrom rejected suggestions the EU is caving in to U.S. pressure, saying “we are not negotiating anything.” “We have made no concessions. We have tried to see if there is a positive agenda,” she told EU lawmakers in Brussels.

The two sides are likely to hold talks in the Belgian capital in coming weeks. While she acknowledged that both sides might have greater ambitions, concluding something as broad as the now-shelved Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership “is not possible.”

If the sides can agree on its scope, Malmstroem said, a limited pact encompassing tariffs could be concluded before the current EU Commission’s mandate expires in October 2019. She noted that Trump and Juncker agreed no new tariffs would be imposed while talks are ongoing and that should Washington slap duties on European cars any negotiations would stop.

Get live Stock Prices from BSE and NSE and latest NAV, portfolio of Mutual Funds, calculate your tax by Income Tax Calculator, know market’s Top Gainers, Top Losers & Best Equity Funds. Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Next Stories
1Imran Khan pays first visit to army headquarters for security briefing
2US lawmakers seek sanctions on China over treatment of Muslims
3At least 10 killed in South Africa bus crash