EU-U.S. Trade Talks Face Delay, Risking Trump Backlash



Viktoria Dendrinou and Nikos Chrysoloras | Bloomberg

European Union governments are struggling to reach consensus on a mandate to begin trade talks with the U.S., risking a delay that would further provoke Donald Trump’s ire after the bloc’s refusal to include agriculture in the negotiations. 

At a meeting of EU ambassadors in Brussels on Wednesday, France is expected to resist giving the European Commission the green light to start negotiations to eliminate industrial tariffs between the regions, according to two officials familiar with the matter, who asked not to be named because the talks are private. Failure to get France on board would mean the EU’s executive arm won’t be given a mandate to negotiate.

The main sticking points include the role of climate and environment in the mandate given the U.S. decision to withdraw from the Paris climate accord and a clarification of what this negotiation would mean for the shelved Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, according to the officials.

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