Washington (AP) – President Joe Biden vows to restore U.S. trade relations with European allies who have been pushed to the limit by President Donald Trump’s benevolent actions, combat policies and aversion to multinational alliances . It was.

But when he meets with European Union leaders in Brussels on Tuesday, Biden could struggle to make up for it. The prospect of reaching a deal to resolve their differences – and perhaps forming a united front against an increasingly confrontational China – could be hampered by European skepticism.

After hearing a bitter note about Biden’s intentions, Latvian political leader Valdis Dombrovski, head of trade in the European Union, said in a speech last week: “It is time for the United States to speak. It was.

Dombrovsky partially mentioned Trump’s 2018 decision to impose import taxes on foreign steel and aluminum. This decision infuriated European leaders and triggered retaliation against the United States. Biden took the time to address the possibility of lowering Trump’s “national security” tariffs.

And as trade tensions further cloud transatlantic relations, the EU may also be reluctant to participate in a US-led effort to confront China over provocative trade policies.

Then there is a long-standing debate about how much government subsidies each side will unreasonably provide to its aircraft manufacturing giants, Boeing in the US and Airbus in the EU.

“This has been going on for 17 years,” explains Cecilia Malmström, a veteran of the transatlantic battle as European trade commissioner from 2014 to 2019.

That said, US-European relations have consistently accused Europeans of neglecting to pay for their defenses through NATO and of abusing what he called an unfair trade deal to sell far. No doubt he is much friendlier than under Trump, who accused him of sending more products to the United States than they buy.

In a well-intentioned move in March, the Biden administration and the EU agreed to suspend tariffs imposed on each other in the battle between Airbus and Boeing. Several media are calling on US and European diplomats to resolve the Boeing-Airbus dispute by July 11 and to lift US tariffs on steel and aluminum and retaliatory sanctions from the EU. He signals that he is working on a project. 1st December.

The Biden administration also announced Friday that Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo would join the US delegation. Its department manages the tariffs on steel and aluminum.

Kelly Ann Shaw, a former trade executive in the Trump administration and now a partner at law firm Hogan Lovells, has suggested the EU and US want to overcome the tariff battle. The least of them is China. “

But last week, Biden’s national security adviser Jake Sullivan did not appear engaged when speaking to Air Force One reporters.

“These negotiations are going well,” Sullivan said of the Boeing-Airbus dispute. “But I have no promise of what’s to come.”

On US tariffs on steel and aluminum, Sullivan said last month that the EU had agreed to suspend plans to increase retaliatory tariffs on US products. This is a concession aimed at easing tensions and facilitating the continuation of negotiations. But he added: “It will take some time to work. “

Sullivan shook his head when asked specifically if the United States would cut tariffs on metals.

The controversy over steel and aluminum is particularly sensitive. To tax imported metals, Trump dispelled weapons that are rarely used in US trade policy to justify tariffs: he said foreign metals threaten US national security. Declared that there is.

“Almost all EU member states were members of NATO,” said Malmstrom, who is now a senior researcher at the Peterson Institute for International Economics. “How can this constitute a threat to national security?” It was unpleasant. ”

Malmstrom said he was surprised Biden had yet to cut tariffs and hoped to cut them at Tuesday’s summit.

“Maybe he keeps it as a gift,” she said.

To complicate Biden’s political calculations, U.S. unions and steel and aluminum producers, some concentrated in states important to democratic electoral prospects, are holding prices down. This is why we want to maintain the tariffs on imported metals. The main reason is that China, which mass-produces more than half of the world’s steel, contributes to the oversupply and, without it, drives down world prices.

Demonstrating the common US and EU challenges to China’s aggressive policies could strengthen the leverage effect of the transatlantic negotiations. But Malmstrom said he was skeptical whether the EU was keen to take on China and join the United States in forcing calculations on its trading practices.

The Trump administration has imposed tariffs on $ 360 billion in Chinese goods amid a fierce conflict over predatory tactics that has been widely blamed for China’s attempt to replace US global technological dominance. United. I did it. Numerous trade experts have forced Beijing to hand over corporate secrets to US companies as the price of access to their markets, forcing US companies to license Chinese technology at a disadvantage and state funding. He says he used to buy American technology and commit a complete theft.

Critics, including Biden, have accused Trump of alienating potential allies like the EU instead of involving them in supporting the challenge to Beijing. But so far, Biden hasn’t stopped Trump’s trade war with China.

Among the 27 EU member states, Malmstrom said: “There is no perfect deal on how to deal with China.” She suggested that the EU could work with the US on some measures. For example, he could crack down on subsidies for his own company in Beijing, but he still does not join the United States in a widespread conflict with China.

“The EU is not just about to finally get on the US agenda,” she said. “The EU is not in trade war mode against anyone. “


AP writer Aamer Madhani contributed to this report from Carvis Bay, England.

How likely is the US-EU trade divide likely to be resolved? Hope could overtake progress

How likely is the US-EU trade divide likely to be resolved? Hope could overtake progress


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