Brussels hails deal with Washington amid lingering questions

EPA-EFE/JIM LO SCALZO

US President Donald J. Trump (R) and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker (L) make a joint statement in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, DC, USA, 25 July 2018.

Brussels hails deal with Washington amid lingering questions


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Only hours after the duo of US President Donald J. Trump on and the head of the EU Jean-Claude Juncker reached an agreement to avert a trade war, the lack of details in the agreement has raised questions about how the deal will come to fruition.

EU officials have expressed optimism about the accord and suggested that the European side left Brussels with limited enthusiasm, saying “Our expectations were not very big, nonetheless a very positive result came about that left the EU in the position of not having to be put any of its economic values in jeopardy.”

“The joint statement says that we can avoid or fully avert the risk of any additional tariffs that were imposed on cars on the grounds of national security,” added the EU official, who clarified that the deal “is not a TTIP 2.0 or a TTIP lite,” in reference to the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership that Trump walked away from after coming into office in January 2017.

The new agreement now opens the way for an ad-hoc agreement in respect to the approach that the EU will take during possible future over key industries.

120 days

A new high-level working group will work to fill in the details of the agreement with negotiators from both sides writing a report within 120 days to establish a framework for future negotiations on a trade agreement.

The contentious issue of car imports has been conspicuously left out of the discussion to push ahead for a free-trade deal on industrial goods. According to an EU official, this was done because the two sides could not agree on a zero tariff regime for automobiles.

LNG and soya beans

While Trump applied more pressure on the German Chancellor Angela Merkel to halt the controversial Nord Stream-2 pipeline project that would double Russia’s gas-export capacity to Europe, rising oil prices have made American LNG exports more competitive. This could fuel the European demand for LNG imports and placate Trump’s obsession to force the EU to “buy American”.

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