11/12/2019, 8:09 AM (Source: TeleTrader)
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EU rejected small trade deal with US, letter shows

The European Union rejected a request from United States Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer to strike a limited trade deal as soon as possible, a letter from European Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom published by Politico on Tuesday showed.

"You asked whether there might be scope for us to agree quickly a small package of tariff reductions on a limited set of industrial and fisheries products. You mentioned lobsters and chemicals as two areas where the US would welcome tariff cuts by the EU,"​ Malmstrom noted in the letter to Lighthizer dated November 6. She added she considered the request and decided that "given the WTO [World Trade Organization] constraints on bilateral preferences, this should be as part of a wider agreement to liberalize tariffs bilaterally for industrial products, including fisheries." Malmstrom added that the EU is willing to "immediately' begin negotiations towards such a deal.

The letter was sent several days before Washington was due to make a decision on whether it will impose tariffs on European car imports by Wednesday. However, media reported the US is likely to delay the tariff decision by another six months.

Breaking the News / NP