20°C / 22°C
  • Mon
  • 25°C
  • 7°C
  • Tue
  • 25°C
  • 11°C
  • Wed
  • 24°C
  • 12°C
  • Thu
  • 24°C
  • 9°C
  • Fri
  • 22°C
  • 9°C
  • Sat
  • 21°C
  • 10°C
  • Mon
  • 14°C
  • 8°C
  • Tue
  • 14°C
  • 6°C
  • Wed
  • 14°C
  • 6°C
  • Thu
  • 16°C
  • 10°C
  • Fri
  • 18°C
  • 9°C
  • Sat
  • 16°C
  • 9°C
  • Mon
  • 26°C
  • 9°C
  • Tue
  • 28°C
  • 13°C
  • Wed
  • 26°C
  • 13°C
  • Thu
  • 26°C
  • 11°C
  • Fri
  • 24°C
  • 11°C
  • Sat
  • 24°C
  • 11°C
  • Mon
  • 27°C
  • 9°C
  • Tue
  • 28°C
  • 14°C
  • Wed
  • 25°C
  • 11°C
  • Thu
  • 25°C
  • 8°C
  • Fri
  • 23°C
  • 7°C
  • Sat
  • 24°C
  • 11°C
  • Mon
  • 23°C
  • 13°C
  • Tue
  • 21°C
  • 16°C
  • Wed
  • 21°C
  • 16°C
  • Thu
  • 19°C
  • 16°C
  • Fri
  • 20°C
  • 16°C
  • Sat
  • 25°C
  • 17°C
  • Mon
  • 14°C
  • 11°C
  • Tue
  • 14°C
  • 10°C
  • Wed
  • 15°C
  • 9°C
  • Thu
  • 16°C
  • 10°C
  • Fri
  • 17°C
  • 9°C
  • Sat
  • 21°C
  • 11°C
  • Mon
  • 13°C
  • 3°C
  • Tue
  • 13°C
  • 1°C
  • Wed
  • 14°C
  • 5°C
  • Thu
  • 15°C
  • 6°C
  • Fri
  • 19°C
  • 5°C
  • Sat
  • 18°C
  • 8°C
  • Mon
  • 12°C
  • 7°C
  • Tue
  • 12°C
  • 6°C
  • Wed
  • 14°C
  • 7°C
  • Thu
  • 14°C
  • 9°C
  • Fri
  • 16°C
  • 9°C
  • Sat
  • 17°C
  • 10°C
  • Mon
  • 28°C
  • 9°C
  • Tue
  • 30°C
  • 11°C
  • Wed
  • 28°C
  • 13°C
  • Thu
  • 28°C
  • 10°C
  • Fri
  • 25°C
  • 11°C
  • Sat
  • 26°C
  • 12°C
  • Mon
  • 26°C
  • 7°C
  • Tue
  • 22°C
  • 6°C
  • Wed
  • 19°C
  • 7°C
  • Thu
  • 20°C
  • 5°C
  • Fri
  • 22°C
  • 6°C
  • Sat
  • 23°C
  • 10°C
  • Mon
  • 29°C
  • 6°C
  • Tue
  • 29°C
  • 10°C
  • Wed
  • 22°C
  • 11°C
  • Thu
  • 26°C
  • 9°C
  • Fri
  • 16°C
  • 12°C
  • Sat
  • 24°C
  • 10°C
  • Mon
  • 13°C
  • 9°C
  • Tue
  • 13°C
  • 7°C
  • Wed
  • 15°C
  • 6°C
  • Thu
  • 15°C
  • 9°C
  • Fri
  • 17°C
  • 8°C
  • Sat
  • 22°C
  • 9°C

EU leaders ready to offer Trump greater market access to avert trade war

EU diplomats say the need to find a unified stance that goes beyond just tariffs.

The European Union flag. Picture: Freeimages.com.

SOFIA - The European Union is ready to negotiate opening its markets wider to US imports including cars in a bid to stave off a potential trade war with Washington, EU leaders said on Thursday.

US President Donald Trump has imposed import duties of 25 percent on steel and 10 percent on aluminium on grounds of national security but has granted EU producers an exemption until 1 June pending the outcome of talks.

EU leaders meeting at a summit in Sofia sought to find a common stance, balancing the interests of those such as Germany who are most keen to avoid a trade conflict and those including France most determined not to be bullied into concessions.

“We have a common position. We want a permanent exemption and then we are ready to talk about how we can reciprocally reduce the barriers to trade,” Merkel told reporters on Thursday.

EU diplomats say the need to find a unified stance that goes beyond just tariffs. The United States has withdrawn from the Iran nuclear deal, posing a threat to European companies doing business there, and has blocked appointments to the World Trade Organization, undermining its ability to settle trade disputes.

EU leaders agreed on four areas on which the bloc would be willing to open talks with the United States, but only on condition that Washington grant EU steel and aluminium makers a permanent exemption from tariffs.

“We seek solutions. It is possible, there is room. The agreement yesterday on four points gives some kind of space for talks,” Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaite said.

The areas identified for cooperation are market access for industrial products, including cars, and government tenders, energy - notably liquefied natural gas (LNG), possible cooperation on regulations, and reform of the WTO.

“These talks will be based on the principles of reciprocity and WTO compatibility and with the objective of avoiding a trade war,” an EU official said.

Trade ministers are expected to discuss the issue at a meeting in Brussels next Tuesday.

The European Commission, which oversees trade policy for the 28 EU members, has said it would respond to tariffs with its own duties on US products, including motorcycles and whisky.

To keep this possibility open, it published a draft law on Thursday to allow it to impose 25% tariffs on a range of US imports from 20 June and tariffs of up to 50% on imports from 23 March 2021.

It will notify the World Trade Organization of its potential plans by Friday.

Comments

EWN welcomes all comments that are constructive, contribute to discussions in a meaningful manner and take stories forward.

However, we will NOT condone the following:

- Racism (including offensive comments based on ethnicity and nationality)
- Sexism
- Homophobia
- Religious intolerance
- Cyber bullying
- Hate speech
- Derogatory language
- Comments inciting violence.

We ask that your comments remain relevant to the articles they appear on and do not include general banter or conversation as this dilutes the effectiveness of the comments section.

We strive to make the EWN community a safe and welcoming space for all.

EWN reserves the right to: 1) remove any comments that do not follow the above guidelines; and, 2) ban users who repeatedly infringe the rules.

Should you find any comments upsetting or offensive you can also flag them and we will assess it against our guidelines.

EWN is constantly reviewing its comments policy in order to create an environment conducive to constructive conversations.

comments powered by Disqus