Trump to host European Commission president amid trade spat

19 Juillet, 2018, 07:19 | Auteur: Auguste Feret
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U.S. President Donald Trump said on Wednesday that European leaders were coming to Washington next week to try to hammer out a deal focused largely on auto tariffs, while his top economic adviser accused Chinese President Xi Jinping of holding up a U.S.

Juncker, who heads the powerful executive arm of the 28-nation European Union, will visit the White House on Jul 25 to try to convince Trump to drop tariffs on metals and avoid further duties on cars.

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker is expected to visit the White House July 25, when economic growth will be up for discussion along with foreign and security policy, counterterrorism and energy security, The Wall Street Journal reported.

Trump imposed duties of 25 per cent on steel imports and 10 per cent on aluminium in March, but had given temporary exemptions to the European Union and some other close trading partners as talks continued.

He said: "They're going to be coming on July 25th to negotiate with us".

"Which we don't want to use, but we have tremendous powers".

If he makes good on threats of 20 percent to 25 percent tariffs on autos and auto parts, it would be Trump's biggest yet, the Journal reported, adding America a year ago imported $176 billion of passenger cars, $36 billion of trucks, and $147 billion of auto components.

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Larry Kudlow, who heads the White House Economic Council, said separately at an investment forum in NY that he has been told that Juncker would be "bringing a very important free trade offer" to Trump on his visit.

Kudlow said he believed Xi has blocked progress on a deal to end dueling US and Chinese tariffs. "Whoever says we are foes is spreading fake news".

"I think Xi is holding the game up".

"I can't confirm that, this is what I am hearing from ambassadors and others".

He told a press conference that he "would like to make the United States president understand" a key point on trade while admitting he had tried unsuccessfully with him before.

China could end USA tariffs "this afternoon by providing a more satisfactory approach" and taking steps that other countries are also calling for, he said. "The ball is in his court".

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