Signal against US customs policy: EU states vote for trade talks with the US

The European Union wants to start trade talks with the US. Most of the member states have agreed on this, but France did not agree.

Is it the comeback for TTIP and Co. in times of customs disputes? The Member States of the European Union have spoken out in favor of starting new trade talks with the US.

They followed the recommendation of the European Commission, which coordinates the trade policy of the 28 member states. France, as expected, spoke against it, Belgium abstained. Because of the resistance from Paris, the decision was delayed. France wanted to vote because of the loud criticism of free trade opponents only after the European elections in late May on the mandate.

In the talks, the EU Commission wants to lower tariffs on industrial goods and simplify production standards. US President Donald Trump accuses the EU of discriminating against the US in trade.

Auto duties should be prevented

The EU also wants to prevent the introduction of special tariffs on European cars through negotiations with the government in Washington. Trump had threatened to block the EU talks on new trade rules. This would affect mainly German manufacturers. "If we do not make a deal, then it comes to the duties," he threatened in February.

EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström has received the mandate for the talks at a meeting of ministers in Luxembourg, according to the European Commission. Already last week, after months of discussion, a basic agreement had been reached.


Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström

Other countries had rushed to the debate for fear of new US tariffs. Countries like Germany or Sweden fear that thousands of jobs in the auto industry could be lost. The US is currently the most important single market for Germany's exporters.

The US trade dispute has erupted with the introduction of US tariffs on steel and aluminum imports, leading to the introduction of EU tariffs on US products.


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