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Trump urges EU to drop all barriers ahead of trade meeting

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
This file photo shows US President Donald Trump (R) and the President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker.

President Donald Trump says the United States and the European Union must drop all trade barriers and subsidies after his administration imposed tariffs on EU imports.

“I have an idea for them. Both the U.S. and the E.U. drop all Tariffs, Barriers and Subsidies!” Trump tweeted on Tuesday, addressing the UE’s trade chiefs who will meet him in a crunch meeting at the White House.

“That would finally be called Free Market and Fair Trade! Hope they do it, we are ready - but they won’t!”

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom are expected to make proposals in that direction to Trump on Wednesday.

They will try to convince Trump to reconsider his proposed tariffs on European car exports to the US, which would deal a serious blow to the 28-nation bloc’s economy.

The trade chiefs plan to signal the bloc’s willingness to negotiate a bilateral trade agreement on manufactured goods, or a plurilateral agreement between all major car exporters to cut or eliminate tariffs on automobiles.

Trump imposed steep tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from several countries earlier this year, including those in the EU. The bloc retaliated with levies on several American products, including motorcycles and jeans.

Now the Trump administration is considering hitting back with measures to limit imports of European cars to the US.

The European Commission has sent Washington an 11-page document warning that any such measure would be counterproductive as 120,000 American jobs are directly dependent on European auto manufacturers.

Finance ministers of the G20 group warned against the repercussions of the ongoing trade dispute on the global economy as their two-day summit came to an end Sunday with no breakthrough.

“These [risks] include rising financial vulnerabilities, heightened trade and geopolitical tensions, global imbalances, inequality and structurally weak growth, particularly in some advanced economies,” the senior officials of the 20 leading economies said in a joint communiqué.

President Trump recently described the European Union as "a foe" in trade. He sees the bloc’s trade surplus with the US as a risk to his country's economy.

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