Trump threatens European Union with high tariffs

Elias Hubbard
January 24, 2020

In contrast to United States president Donald Trump, who labelled climate activists as "prophets of doom", von der Leyen said that the evidence of climate change is overwhelming and it is a global challenge. The Trump administration used tariff threats as leverage during its trade negotiations with Beijing. And I had a great talk.

Former German Defence Minister Ursula von der Leyen succeeded Jean-Claude Juncker at the end of 2019 as the EU's top official, becoming the first woman to hold the post.

It looks like the European Union and its political position against climate change, could become critical in holding other major trading centers to account, including China. "It is not in our interest to have an escalation of tariffs", he said.

The United States has also threatened duties of up to 100% on French goods, from champagne to handbags, because of a digital services tax that Washington says harms USA tech companies.

"I am convinced that we can engage in a positive US-EU agenda in trade, as well as on technology, energy and much more besides", von der Leyen said in a statement.

"Of course, both sides recognize that it is a tight schedule, a lot still has to be put together in the time we have, but it can be done and it can be done for both goods - where we want free trade, zero tariffs, zero quotas - but also on services".

Sommaruga said she would also discuss global warming, something which Trump has frequently cast doubt on, despite the almost unanimous agreement of scientists around the world that the phenomenon exists and is accelerating. Trump has been asking the European Union to review subsidies it provides to aircraft makers, and says he wants to cut his country's trade deficit with Europe.

He earlier told delegates that trade deals struck this month with China and Mexico represented a model for the 21st Century.

Trump joked he'd heard that the "highly respected" von der Leyen is "a very tough negotiator, which is bad news for us".

"The Green Deal comes with important investment needs, which we will turn into investment opportunities", von der Leyen said.

Britain is due to leave the European Union at the end of January, and Johnson has stated that one of the main advantages of being outside the bloc would be the ability for Britain to negotiate its own trade deals, including with the United States.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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