Editing Office - Intl. News
The EU and the US are set to enter trade talks in a bid to resolve their disagreements. Read on to find out what the issues are and the deciding role Parliament will play.
Trade relations between the EU and US have been rocky since Donald Trump was elected on a platform of protectionism and nationalism. Negotiations on a Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) were stopped until further notice at the end of 2016. When Trump imposed additional import duties on steel and aluminium imports, MEPs called the move unacceptable and incompatible with WTO rules. MEPs also expressed concern about US customs duties on Spanish olives, imposed in January 2018 after the US deemed they were being imported at below market price. Tensions escalated last year when Trump threatened to slap additional tariffs on European cars in the name of national security. Jean-Claude Juncker, president of the European Commission, met Trump on behalf of the EU to discuss the threat and the two agreed to relaunch trade talks.
The European Commission will negotiate on behalf of the EU, but its mandate requires approval. Parliament will adopt its position in March, when the EU Council of Ministers is also expected to adopt a draft negotiating mandate. Any deal resulting from these talks has to be approved by the European Parliament before it can enter into force. On 19 February, the international trade committee voted in favour of a resolution calling for the talks to start, but only under certain conditions.