EU Prepares to Open Trade Talks with U.S.

January 09, 2019 at 12:20 PM

The European Commission says it is developing a draft request to the EU’s 28 member states to begin negotiations with the U.S. on a free trade agreement.

The announcement comes a day after Cecilia Malmstrom, the EU’s trade chief, and her U.S. counterpart Robert Lighthizer met in Washington, D.C. The EC says “technical level” discussions will continue this week.

An agreement would end the Trump administration’s threat to impose a broad range of tariffs on European goods, including a 25% tax on the region’s cars.

a 25% tariff on European-made vehicles. The White House and EC President Jean-Claude Juncker agreed in July to suspend the car tariffs pending negotiations aimed at achieving zero tariffs, trade barriers and subsidies between the two blocs.