The US president believes that transatlantic trade is suffering from a serious imbalance. "Trade policy (...) is not a game with winners and losers," says the European Commission.
In an interview at British TV channel ITV aired Sunday night, Donald Trump has attacked the European Union, saying that Brussels treated the United States in a "very unfair" way in their trade relations, and threatened half-word retaliation.
"I have a lot of problems with the European Union and this could turn into something very big from this point of view, from a trade point of view," says the US president. "We can not bring in our products. It's very, very hard. And yet, she sends her products to us: no taxes, very few taxes. It's very unfair, "he adds. "She's not the only one, by the way. I could name a lot of countries and places that do it. But the European Union is very, very unfair to the United States. And in my opinion, it will really turn against her. "
The European Union "is ready to react quickly and appropriately if its exports would be affected by restrictive measures on the part of the United States," warned Monday the European Commission. "Trade policy (...) is not a game with winners and losers. We here in the EU believe that trade can and should benefit everyone, "said spokeswoman for the European executive, Margaritis Schinas. "We also believe that trade must be open and fair and rules-based," he added.
Donald Trump, a protectionist president
Elected on a protectionist program ("America First"), boasting of wanting to protect American workers and companies, Donald Trump has regularly accused foreign countries of unfair commercial practices, including China, the main trading partner of the United States. Last week, the US administration introduced "safeguard rights" on solar panels imported from China, but also on large washing machines manufactured in China, South Korea, Mexico, Thailand and Vietnam. In Europe, the American president has crossed paths with Germany, whose trade surplus with the United States he considers excessive. In particular, he threatened to introduce customs duties in retaliation to reduce the imbalance.
When asked about the UK's exit from the European Union, Donald Trump said he would have been "firmer" than the British prime minister in negotiations with Brussels. "No, I would not negotiate it as it's negotiated," Donald Trump responded to the question of whether Theresa May was "well positioned" in the Brexit negotiations. "I would have said that the European Union is not as good as it is supposed to be," he added. "I would have taken a stronger stand on withdrawal" from the European Union. In January 2017, the Republican billionaire had estimated that the UK had "good reason" to leave an EU according to him dominated by Germany, predicting that Brexit would be a "success" and that the European bloc would continue to fragment .
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