EU trade tsar on US: 'We hope we don't impose tariffs on each other'

EU trade tsar on US: 'We hope we don't impose tariffs on each other'
By Euronews
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EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom talks about EU-US relations and ties to China.


As EU-US trade ties remain shaky under the constant threat of tit-for-tat tariffs and rumblings of a trade war, Euronews sat down with EU trade tsar Cecilia Malmstrom to talk about the state of play.

In recent weeks, the EU has threatened to slap the US with $12 billion in retaliatory tariffs over the Airbus-Boeing subsidy dispute. When questioned on whether the EU's actions could further rock relations, Malmstrom told Euronews: "We hope that we don’t have to impose tariffs on each other. This is a parallel track that has been on for 14 years and lots of investigations have said that both the EU and US have done a few things wrong."

"So we have the legal rights to impose tariffs on each other, but the best would be not to do that but to sit down together and see how we can manage this in the future; how can we set norms and standards for airplane subsides also vis-a-vis the rest of the world. And this is what we offer to the US because it would be very damaging for them and to us if we put tariffs on each other," added the EU commissioner for trade. 

EU and China

The EU is also considering whether they view China as more of a “cooperation partner” rather than a “systemic rival”. For Malmstrom, it is a question of playing by the rules.

“We are also trying to tell China that they have to follow international rules and multilateral standards because the way they are subsidizing their own companies, for instance, is dumping the international markets and that is harming producers and consumers all over the world. So they need to follow WTO rules and we need to work with them to develop new rules in the WTO," she said. 

"We have a working group on this, so I hope China can take a bigger responsibility to strengthen and to obey to multilateral rules because it has been very good for China as well."

The full interview is available Monday on Euronews.

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