The European Union’s trade chief has says on Thursday the lack of a full trade between the bloc and the United States is ridiculous. But on the other hand the chief said it the best that could be expected now was only a very modest agreement.
In explanation to this Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom also rebuffed suggestions that the EU should simply seek to settle its differences over tariffs with the United States. At the same time when EU leaders agreed last week to discuss opening their markets wider to U.S. imports like cars, to avert a trade war with President Donald Trump.
In the past year after Trump’s 2016 election victory, the EU shelved negotiations towards an agreement which is called the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). This agreement had aimed to set global trading standards for others to follow.
Furthermore, Malmstrom said about the agreement that she still believed TTIP was a good idea, but “taking TTIP out of the freezer is not on the agenda”.
“To not have a trade agreement between the EU and the U.S. is ridiculous when we have trade agreements with the whole world, but the elements are not there to revive TTIP as it was,”. After that she added significantly that reducing tariffs on industrial goods would result in a “very limited agreement”.
In the recent US elections 2016 since Trump became president, the EU eventually focused on open markets and sealing trade accords with like-minded countries. It has deals with Japan and Mexico, and is in talks with the Mercosur bloc of Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay. More negotiations are also expected with some other countries.
Co-chair of the Green group in European Parliament, Philippe Lamberts said, EU leaders and senior officials were “rushing to Washington and begging” and he said the bloc should cut off talks and just threaten a legal challenge at the WTO.