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Trump Rejects EU Offer to Remove Tariffs on Industrial Goods

Monday, September 03, 2018
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report

President Trump said Aug. 30 that a European Union offer to remove all tariffs on two-way trade in automobiles and other industrial goods is “not good enough.” EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom said Brussels is willing to lower tariffs on such goods to zero if the U.S. does the same as part of a limited trade agreement. However, Trump suggested that he wants the EU to do more to increase imports of U.S. automobiles than eliminating its 10 percent import duty, saying “their consumer habits are to buy their cars, not to buy our cars.”

According to press sources, Malmstrom’s offer went beyond a commitment the U.S. and EU made in July to work toward zero tariffs, zero non-tariff barriers, and zero subsidies on industrial goods other than automobiles. The two trading partners also agreed to seek lower barriers and increased trade in services, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, and medical products; increase U.S. exports of soybeans and liquefied natural gas to the EU; establish a dialogue on standards to ease trade, reduce bureaucratic obstacles, and lower costs; reform the World Trade Organization; and resolve the U.S. additional tariffs on steel and aluminum and the EU’s retaliatory tariffs on U.S. goods.

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