European Interest

US frustrated with slow EU trade progress

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Officials in Washington are pressing “for very rapid results” in trade negotiations launched by the US and the European Union. The talks were launched during EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker’s meeting with US President Donald Trump last month.

Emily Haber, Germany’s ambassador to the United States, told reporters a deal would need to be reached before European Parliament elections in May 2019.

“The Americans are in fact pressing for very rapid results,” Haber said at an event to unveil plans for more than 1,000 events in the United States next year aimed at strengthening bilateral ties.

“As far as the timelines go, I would point out that we have European Parliament elections next year, and an agreement would have to be reached in a timely manner before these elections,” she said.

As reported by the Reuters news agency, Trump had agreed during the meeting with Juncker to refrain from imposing threatened car tariffs on European firms while the two sides launched negotiations to cut tariffs on steel, aluminium and other goods.

The surprise agreement eased the threat of a transatlantic trade war, but US officials have reportedly grown frustrated about the slow pace of progress in subsequent weeks, reported Reuters.

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