The American President, Donald Trump, considered that the European Union is treating the US “highly unfairly” in their trade relations and hinted at reprisals, in a televised interview which was shown on Sunday evening in the UK, on the television channel ITV. The American President stressed the difficulty for companies in the US to sell their products to the EU, whilst the EU can export its products to the US “free of taxes” or “by paying very little tax.” He observes, “This is a highly unfair situation,” as a partial transcript of the interview reveals.
He warned in the interview on Thursday, “I have many issues with the European Union and this could transform into something big…from a trade perspective.” The interview took place on the margins of the Global Economic Forum in Davos.
Having been elected on a programme with an emphasis upon protectionist policies, boasting of wishing to protect the interests of American businesses and workers, Donald Trump has regularly accused foreign countries of unfair commercial practices.
In Europe, the American President has crossed swords with Germany. He considers that the German trade surplus with the US as excessive. In particular, he has threatened to instigate custom duties by way of reprisals, to reduce the imbalance.
Questioned upon the UK’s exit from the EU, Donald Trump said, he “would have taken a a toughter stand” than the British Prime Minister, Theresa May, in negotiations with Brussels, were he in her position.
Mr Trump responded, “I wouldn’t negotiate it the way it’s being negotiated.” He added, “I would say that the European Union is not cracked-up to what it’s supposed to be.”
He went on, “I would have taken a ‘tougher stand’ in getting out of it.”