Manfred Weber to Washington: Dont play with us on trade

Manfred Weber, the European Peoples Partys lead candidate to be Commission president, warned Washington not to “play with” the EU when it comes to trade.

“It must be clear that when we sit together, we are working together as partners on an equal, level playing field,” Weber said at an event hosted by the Bruegel think tank in Brussels.

“We cannot be forced to do something. That must be clear. So if there is one action, one concrete [trade] activity against us — steel, Airbus or car industry — then Europe has to answer, no doubt about this. And that must be a decisive and a strong answer. So, dont play with us.”

His comments come a day after the U.S. released a list of $11 billion worth of European goods — including wine, cheese and helicopters — that could be hit with punitive tariffs in a long-running dispute over subsidies for airplane manufacturer Airbus.

U.S. President Donald Trump tweeted Tuesday that the U.S. “will now put tariffs on $11 billion of EU products,” and accused the EU of having “taken advantage of the U.S. on trade for many years.” However, it is up to a World Trade Organization arbitrator to define the exact level of allowed retaliation.

Still, Weber said Trumps protectionist trade policies offer “a huge opportunity” for the EU to ink more trade deals.

“Having the Trump behavior in mind, having the uncertainty at global level in mind, there is a huge opportunitRead More – Source

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