EU open to new trade talks with US

The bloc however has not seen great interest from Washington

Photo: EPA European Commissioner for Trade Cecilia Malmstrom

EU’s Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom said on Wednesday that the bloc is still open to talks with the United States on industrial goods tariffs, but Washington had not yet shown any serious interest.

“We have not started negotiating yet,” Malmstrom told reporters on Wednesday. “We are prepared to start the scoping exercise on a limited agreement focus on industrial goods ... so far the US has not shown any big interest.”

Yet, she stressed that the bloc would respond in case Washington imposes tariffs on EU cars.

“If the United States slam 25 percent EU auto tariffs on the table, we cannot simply stand by and watch. Then we will have to react. I hope that won’t happen,” she added, declining to set a deadline for the conclusion of talks.

Her comments came in response to US Trade Representative’s office statement on Tuesday, in which Washington says it intends to open trade talks with the EU and the United Kingdom.

Regarding UK, Malmstrom said “the UK. cannot negotiate any trade agreement as long as they are a member of the European Union.”

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