May 11, 2021

Brussels sees room to include the car in negotiations with the US, but not agriculture

Brussels sees room to include the car in negotiations with the US, but not agriculture

This has been defended by the Trade Commissioner, Cecilia Malmström, who negotiates trade agreements on behalf of the EU, at a press conference in Brussels to present its negotiating guidelines, a proposal focused on regulatory cooperation and another proposal on the elimination of tariffs. for industrial products.

Malmström has insisted that the objective is not to reach the "traditional" Free Trade Agreement, in the image of the frustrated TTIP that Brussels tried to close with the Administration of Barack Obama, but of a bilateral agreement "limited, but important", called to liberalize the trade of industrial goods.

"The conditions are not given to be involved (in the negotiations) of a full commercial agreement", added the commissioner, to emphasize that the agreement negotiated with the United States "will not include agriculture", despite being one of the Washington's main ambitions.

The head of Trade in the European Union has said that it is clear that there are "disagreements" between the two parties, but has insisted that there are no surprises and has hoped that it can move "fairly quickly."

In this regard, he has insisted that the guidelines he proposes include "at the bottom of the letter" what was agreed in the summer between the president of the United States, Donald Trump, and the president of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker.

Although the agreement that aims to reach Malsmtröm will focus on eliminating tariffs on industrial goods and discards addressing agricultural trade, the commissioner has opened the door to include in the talks another key sector, that of the car, but with conditions.

"We are willing to put our vehicle tariffs on the table as part of a broader agreement, provided that the United States agrees to work together towards (the principle of) zero tariffs for all industrial goods," the commissioner explained.

The Commissioner has also responded to the threat that the US Administration raise tariffs on imports of European cars and has warned that the EU bloc works on reciprocal measures if necessary.

"We have made it very clear to the United States that there should be no additional tariffs, because this would damage cooperation, but if it happens, in any case, we have very advanced the list for rebalancing measures," said Malmström, who stressed that the EU it has left "perfectly clear" to its counterpart who is "prepared" to respond.


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