US Urges EU For Faster Trade Negotiations

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Photo by Gage Skidmore via Flickr

The United States is pushing the European Union to move faster on trade negotiations after the meeting between Donald Trump, the US President, and  that occurred last month.

Reuters reported that the ambassador of Germany to the United States, Emily Haber, informed that this week, the reporters that a working group that was organised after the meeting between Trump and Juncker had convened for the first time, and that US officials were pressing “for very rapid results.”

She said that EU officials would require a clear mandate to move beyond the current “scoping exercise” and a deal must be reached before the elections of the European Parliament in May 2019.

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

She added: “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.”

An official from the US confirmed that Washington was urging for the negotiations to be put on “a much faster timeline,” however, he did not disclose a specific date.

During the meeting with Juncker, President Trump agreed to avoid imposing threatened car tariffs on European companies while the two sides launched the talks to lessen the tariffs on steel, aluminium and other goods.

The shocking agreement was able to ease the threat of a transatlantic trade war, however, US officials have already been frustrated regarding the slow pace of progress during the subsequent weeks especially after the first working group meeting was postponed until after European holidays.

Last month, Steven Mnuchin, the US Treasury Secretary, said that he was hopeful tht the issue could be resolved “very quickly.”

A spokesperson European Commission confirmed that a meeting of the EU-US working group occurred this week, however, he gave no details about the said meeting.

A member of the executive board of the German industry group BDI, Stefan Mair, said that some progress was reported during the first meeting of the new working group. It included the expected timetable, however, he did not elaborate on the matter.

During the event showcasing ties between Germany and the United States,Mair stated: “We know the Trump administration is strongly pressing for short timelines and quicker progress.”

He added: “But we insist that this should not happen at the expense of a thorough result because we are interested in seeing an agreement that goes beyond tariffs and looks at more general issues affecting business relationships.”