The European Council’s representative to the G20 has confirmed that the United States’ removal of tariffs on steel and aluminium imports is not a precondition for trade talks. Hubert Fuchs, who is also Austria’s state secretary for finance, said: “It’s not a precondition because preconditions are never good, but it would be a great wish.”

As reported by the Reuters news agency, this reasoning contradicts French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire’s comments on the sidelines of the G20 meeting of finance ministers in Buenos Aires on July 21.

“We are representing 28 member states of the European Union, not only Germany and France. We shouldn’t have any preconditions for the talks,” reasoned Fuchs.