June 25, 2019
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European Union

Malmstrom says EU wants to avoid escalation of tensions with US

 European Commissioner for Trade Cecilia Malmstrom speaks at a media conference in Brussels, Belgium, 18 September 2018 on modernisation of the World Trade Organisation. EPA-EFE FILE/OLIVIER HOSLET

European Commissioner for Trade Cecilia Malmstrom speaks at a media conference in Brussels, Belgium, 18 September 2018 on modernisation of the World Trade Organisation. EPA-EFE FILE/OLIVIER HOSLET

Tokyo, Apr 10 (efe-epa).- The European Union's trade commissioner said on Wednesday that the EU wants to avoid an escalation in trade tensions with the United States following President Donald Trump's announcement of new tariffs over the Airbus case.

Cecilia Malmstrom spoke during a press conference in Tokyo after Trump tweeted the US was imposing tariffs on $11 billions worth of EU products as proposed by the US Trade Representatives Office.

Trump on Tuesday tweeted: "The World Trade Organization finds that the European Union subsidies to Airbus has adversely impacted the United States."

He further added: "The EU has taken advantage of the US on trade for many years. It will soon stop!"

Malmstrom said Brussels has different data to Trump regarding the subsidies and added that the European Commission has the WTO figures, which show that the US also gives subsidies which go against the international standards of the organization.

She added that the EU wants to resolve the matter in a friendly manner through dialogue based on the inquiries carried out by the member nations and based on the standards of the WTO.

Malmstrom also said that it would be unfortunate for both parties to be involved in an escalation of trade tensions.

In July 2018, the EU and the US reached a truce after months of tensions following Washington's intentions to impose tariffs on steel and aluminum for which they agreed to maintain diologue to move towards a situation of "zero tariffs".

The agreement urged both the sides to not impose additional tariffs while the dialogue was ongoing while the EU committed to reduce some industrial tariffs and increasing certain US imports.

The tariffs proposed by the Trump administration would mean a countermeasure to the cost that entailed by the US subsidies to the European aviation industry, although Washington said that it will wait for the WTO decision on the figure in dispute between the two parties before taking a decision.

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