When European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker meets US President Donald Trump in Washington on July 25 he will not bring with him a trade offer. Juncker was expected to come with a “significant” trade offer.

“I do not wish to enter into a discussion about mandates, offers because there are no offers. This is a discussion, it is a dialogue and it is an opportunity to talk and to stay engaged in dialogue,” Commission spokesman Margaritis Schinas told a news conference on July 23.

As reported by the Reuters news agency, Juncker will focus on trade tensions after the US imposition of tariffs on EU steel and aluminium and Trump’s threats to extend those measures to European cars.

Trump has repeatedly complained about the European Union, pointing to the higher duties it applies for car imports and describing the bloc as a “foe” in trade.

Schinas said Juncker was “very prepared” to set out European arguments. “This is an occasion to de-dramatize any potential tensions around trade and to engage in an open and constructive dialogue with our American partners,” he said.

In a separate report, Deutsche Welle (DW), Germany’s international broadcaster, noted that the US and the EU are on the brink of a full-blown trade war after Trump raised import duties on steel and aluminium products.

In Germany, Chancellor Angela Merkel has warned that Trump’s auto tariffs would not just violate the rules of the World Trade Organisation but could also “endanger the prosperity of many people around the world”.