Udo Bullmann: De-escalation of trade war is positive but relationship is far from normal

Reacting to the outcome of the meeting between European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker and US president Donald Trump, S&D Group president Udo Bullmann stated:

“The result of the meeting between Trump and Juncker allows for a relaxation of the very tense transatlantic relationship but it is still far from normal. We are relieved that further escalation of the trade conflict was avoided and duties on European cars do not seem to be an issue any more at this point. However, as long as the US has not lifted the illegal tariffs on aluminium and steel, the situation remains critical.”

“The fact that the EU acted united and with harsh counter-measures towards the illegal tariffs imposed by the US has put Trump under pressure. He has understood that his unreasonable trade policies harm the US-economy as much as everybody else involved. Imposing duties on cars would have additionally led to massive job losses on both sides of the Atlantic. With a view to the mid-term-elections in November, he is having trouble justifying the consequences of his irresponsible trade policies at home. This is why the US-President remembered to talk to the European Union.”

“Given Trump’s opportunism, any concessions made by him remain questionable. It is unclear whether his commitment to work together remains stable or will be shattered with the next tweet. Against this background, it is even more important that the European Union continues to stand united and to maintain pressure.


Alessia Mosca MEP, S&D Group spokesperson for trade said:

“The commitment to work towards a reform of the WTO would be indeed a major step forward for the benefit of all.  The precondition for any new arrangements with the US is that the illegal US tariffs are lifted. For negotiations in this respect, a new mandate from the member states is needed.”

“We Socialists and Democrats will make sure that the European Parliament is involved and that European citizens' interests are represented at every stage of further trade negotiations. Moreover, we only advocate rules-based agreements that are in line with our values. For us, the protection of European workers and industries remains a priority.”