Washington – European Union commissioner for trade Cecilia Malmström has expressed confidence that the US will not impose tariffs on automotive imports from the EU.
After meeting US officials last week, Malmström also announced that the European Commission would soon propose to member states a draft negotiating strategy for talks on a transatlantic trade agreement on industrial goods.
The EU official said: “We presume that the Americans will stick to the agreement that as long as we talk in the executive working group there will be no additional tariffs."
But concern remains that president Donald Trump might move ahead on previous threats to impose tariffs of up to 25 % on European automotive imports.
The US agreed not to impose tariffs if the parties were actively engaged in talks to liberalise trade.
The European side wants the talks to cover the automotive sector and bidding on government contracts, but not agriculture, with the US taking the opposite position.
The EU says it has delivered on several of last summer's commitments to avert a trade war, including increasing its imports of US soybeans by 112% and taking steps to increase imports of US liquefied natural gas.
Malmström also met with US treasury secretary Steve Mnuchin and trade committee leaders in Congress.
In a speech, she said globalisation has had some unintended consequences, but that inward-looking policies are not the solution because trade supports democracy, relationships and value chains.