The US and EU Seem to be on Completely Different Pages Ahead Expected Trade Talks

The US and EU

Ahead of anticipated trade talks between Washington and Brussels, expectations appear to be miles apart.
The two sides have long sought to rearrange their bilateral trade partnership, which is the largest in the world. But preliminary back-and-forths have suggested a resolution won’t be any easier after a truce was reached in July.

“Successful negotiations are far from guaranteed,” said Rachel Ellehuus, a former Pentagon official who now leads the Europe Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a Washington think tank. “The US and EU have different negotiating priorities.”

The US has said it is focused on reducing the overall trade deficit with the EU, its second-largest after China, and increasing market access for US agricultural and energy businesses. But European officials have pushed back against the idea that the latter would even be on the table.

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“We have been very clear that from the EU side that we will not discuss agriculture,” European Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström said last month. EU negotiators, for their part, have prioritized lowering trade barriers for industrial goods, a potential uphill battle with a president whose core promises have included bolstering the US manufacturing industry.

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