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EU-US Relations: EU Sours on Reviving Trade-Pact Push With U.S. Amid Tariffs Row

The European Union distanced itself from the idea of reviving talks on a broad free-trade agreement with the U.S. as part of EU efforts to gain a permanent exemption from President Donald Trump’s controversial import tariffs on steel and aluminum.

A day after U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said the Trump administration is willing to restart negotiations on the stalled Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, the European Commission said it’s seeking a “dialog” with Washington “on issues of common interest” including global steel overcapacity.

“More contacts will be held in the coming weeks to agree the exact scope and framework of this EU-U.S. dialog,” a spokesman for the commission, the 28-nation EU’s executive arm in Brussels, said on Friday. “The commission is committed to engage in this process in an open and constructive way. However, it should be clear that this dialog does not represent the revival of the process for a comprehensive Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership.”

The TTIP negotiations to expand the world biggest economic relationship have been frozen since Trump entered the White House with an “America First” agenda that has shunned multilateral trade initiatives. This extended to the completed Trans-Pacific Partnership, from which Trump withdrew.

“He terminated the trans-Pacific deal; he didn’t terminate TTIP,” Ross said in an interview with Bloomberg Television on Thursday.

“That was meant quite deliberately and quite overtly as a message that we’re open to discussions with the European Commission.”

EU leaders showed as much annoyance as relief at the temporary exemption on March 23, with French President Emmanuel Macron saying “we won’t talk about anything while there’s a gun pointed at our head.”

Note EU-Digest: Given the hole Mr. Trump buried the US in with his tariffs, quitting the Paris Climate Agreement, getting out of the TTIP negotiations, and  putting the agreed on Iran deal on ice,  the EU in no way should let the Trump Administration get away with this. It is high time for the EU to let the Trump Administration swallow their own spit, and accept the consequences of their arrogance.  

Read  more: EU Sours on Reviving Trade-Pact Push With U.S. Amid Tariffs Row - Bloomberg

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