It’s ‘Complicated to Negotiate with the European Union,’ Wilbur Ross Says



Silvia Amaro | CNBC

  • Both sides of the Atlantic have been at odds over trade ever since President Donald Trump took office back in 2016.
  • There’s one big motivation for Europe to reach a deal with the U.S.: preventing duties on its carmakers – a sector responsible for much of the economic growth in the region.
  • If there is no deal, President Trump “is totally comfortable” with applying higher tariffs on European cars. 

The United States is finding it difficult to negotiate trade with the European Union, U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross told CNBC Monday.

Both sides of the Atlantic have been at odds over trade ever since President Donald Trump took office back in 2016. Since then, the president ended trade negotiations between the U.S. and the EU over a wide-ranging deal (the Transatlantic trade and investment partnership – TTIP), has imposed tariffs on European steel and aluminium products, as well as threatened to slap further duties on European carmakers.

“For the moment, it’s complicated to negotiate with the European Union, because they just had their parliamentary election, they haven’t picked a new president of the European community yet, they haven’t picked a new trade commissioner and so there’s really nobody to negotiate with who will be around in the long term,” Wilbur Ross, the U.S. Commerce Secretary told CNBC’s Phil LeBeau at the Paris Airshow.

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