EU efforts to soothe transatlantic trade tensions with US have stalled
US elections mean any breakthrough in European will likely be delayed until after November, says the EU's trade chief Phil Hogan, reports Bloomberg
25 June 2020 - 19:00
But failure to reach an accord could pave the way for Europe to impose tariffs on billions of dollars of American goods as soon as July.
'We must acknowledge that the US is now in a pre-election phase,' Mr Hogan said. 'Political attention in Washington is therefore much more on the immediate challenges in US domestic politics.'
Washington has 'stepped back' in recent weeks from talks aimed at defusing a longstanding dispute over aircraft subsidies, Phil Hogan told a video conference of EU trade ministers.
The EU wants to renew a July 2018 truce that began to fray late last year when the US targeted Europe with new tariffs or warnings of them. Chief among Europe's worries is a lingering US threat to hit EU cars and auto parts with duties based on national-security grounds.
'I regret that the US has stepped back from the settlement talks in recent weeks,' he said. 'Positions are therefore still quite far apart. If this remains the case, the EU will have little choice but to exercise its retaliation rights and impose our own sanctions in the Boeing case, once we have the WTO award.'
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