News   /   Foreign Policy   /   EU

US trying ‘in vain’ to split EU on trade, says European Commission chief

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker attends a press conference at the EU headquarters in Brussels, on July 18, 2018. (Photo by AFP)

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker says the EU will remain indivisible in the face of US bids to split the bloc on trade through encouraging bilateral deals with member states.

In a message to US President Donald Trump before their talks in Washington next week, Juncker said at a press conference on Wednesday that the US was trying “in vain” to divide the EU with regards to trade, noting that he would like to make Trump understand that “the European Union and its single market are indivisible.”

"It seems to me all these efforts to have bilateral ties, which must take place between our partners and the commission and therefore the EU, must be better explained," Juncker added.

Trump imposed duties of 25 percent on steel imports and 10 percent on aluminum in March.

In retaliation, the EU slapped tariffs on classic American goods, such as tobacco and motorcycles, prompting Trump to suggest hefty levies on European goods, notably cars, could be on the way.

US President Donald Trump (R) and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker chat at the G20 economic summit on July 8, 2017 in Hamburg, Germany. (Photo by Getty Images)

The head of the powerful executive arm of the 28-nation European Union will visit the White House on July 25 in a bid to heal growing transatlantic trade divisions.

“The two leaders will discuss the deep cooperation between the European Union and the United States government and institutions across a wide range of priorities, including foreign and security policy, counterterrorism, energy security and economic growth,” a European Commission spokesperson said, adding, “President Juncker and President Trump will focus on improving transatlantic trade and forging a stronger economic partnership.”

The strained ties between Washington and the EU went into a spiral when the US president called the bloc “a foe” in an interview aired last week.  

"I think we have a lot of foes," Trump told CBS News in an interview segment that aired Sunday on "Face the Nation." "I think the European Union is a foe, what they do to us in trade. Now you wouldn't think of the European Union, but they're a foe."

This comes as the US has also launched a World Trade Organization dispute action against the EU over retaliatory tariffs imposed by the bloc.  

Press TV’s website can also be accessed at the following alternate addresses:

Press TV News Roku