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March 2, 2020

European Policymakers Say Trade Deal With United States Could Hinge On Section 232 Tariffs

Negotiators from the United States and the European Union (EU) have been working for months to try to forge a trade agreement and last week officials from the EU made it clear what they want in order to make a deal happen.

According to Politico, a delegation of European lawmakers left Washington, D.C. last week suggesting a potential trade deal between the European Union and the United States could hinge on President Donald Trump’s Section 232 steel and aluminum tariffs. Bernd Lange, chair of the European Parliament’s trade committee, told reporters negotiations “cannot begin in earnest unless and until the U.S. addresses a handful of what he called ‘trade irritants’ that have dogged the bilateral relationship in the Trump era: steel and aluminum duties, for example, as well the automotive tariff threat …”

Both U.S. and EU policymakers have said they would like to arrive at a trade deal by the end of this year. The next step in the process: European Trade Commissioner Phil Hogan will be in Washington, D.C. on March 16 to discuss the United States’ threat to put tariffs on European cars.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin addressed that issue this past weekend, saying, according to The New York Times, that President Donald Trump “reserved the right to impose car tariffs, but no decisions had been made.”