Fears of a trade war between the US and EU have been growing in the past few weeks, but last night, EU leaders approved negotiating directives for US-EU trade talks, in another positive step forwards. Although France voted against, and Belgium used its option to abstain, the rest of the EU27 agreed to start talks on getting rid of tariffs for fishing and industrial goods. The talks will also cover conformity testing and certification for new products.
There are concerned that the US may ask for changes to agricultural tariffs. America insists that they will be discussed, while the EU says that it’s not open for negotiation. The French would also like climate change to be put on the agenda, saying ‘Europe must be exemplary and firm in its protection of the climate’.
Meanwhile, the Treasury Secretary, Steve Mnuchin, said over the weekend that US-China trade talks are ‘close to the final round’ – perhaps sped up by fears of a global slowdown from both sides.
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