BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Union’s top trade officials will update their U.S. counterparts this week on progress in obtaining a negotiating mandate for a EU-U.S. trade deal on industrial goods and raise concern over existing and potential future U.S. tariffs.
EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom will meet U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer on March 6 in Washington and the Secretary-General of the European Commission, Martin Selmayr, will meet the Director of the United States National Economic Council Larry Kudlow on March 7.
The European Union’s executive arm, the European Commission, has the sole responsibility for negotiating trade deals for the whole 28-nation bloc of 513 million people and has been in close discussions with Washington over trade policy since last July to avert the threat of U.S. tariffs on EU cars and car parts.
The European Commission has asked member countries to approve two negotiating mandates so that formal talks can begin. Germany is keen to start quickly, while France is reluctant.