SHOWDOWN: Trump Blasts EU ‘Formed to Take Advantage’ of U.S., Warns U.S. Will ‘Not Do Business’ With EU Without Reform

President Donald Trump has blasted the European Union as an organisation “formed to take advantage of the United States”, and warned the U.S. is “not doing business” with the bloc if it does not change its ways.

“Long-term you’re going to be so happy,” he told supporters at major rally in Washington, Michigan, promising to put an end to unfair trade arrangements which see EU exporters facing low or no tariffs while selling into the U.S., while the EU maintains far higher barriers against U.S. exporters.

“We’re going to [these markets] opened up or we’re not doing business with these countries,” he vowed.

He said that the European Union “sounds so nice” in theory, but imposes “tremendous blocks” on U.S. businesses, and was in fact “formed to take advantage of the United States”.

“Not anymore, those days are over,” he promised.

Headed by an unelected Commission based in Brussels, Belgium, the European Union controls the trade policy of all 28 of its members — including the United Kingdom, which has yet to escape the bloc despite voting to leave in June 2016.

This prevents them from signing bilateral trade agreements, setting their own tariffs, or voting independently on international trade bodies like the World Trade Organisation.

This arrangement has suited Germany and its allies, which tend to dominate the bloc’s decision-making, but proved problematic for Britain, which has been prevented from making deals with its partners in America and the British Commonwealth.

After Brexit, a British-American trade deal could be a tremendous prize for both countries, which each doing major trade and investment in the other’s markets in spite of the current EU barriers.

Such a deal has been championed by President Trump himself — but the prospect of Brussels dragging Britain into a trade war with the U.S. during a long ‘transition period’ in which it remains subject to EU trade policy could put it in jeopardy.

Similarly, proposals by EU loyalists in the British political class and civil service to keep Britain tied to the EU Customs Union would prevent it from striking a deal with Trump’s America even after Brexit — a situation which would render Britain a “joke nation” in the eyes of some of senior Brexit supporters.

Follow Jack Montgomery on Twitter: @JackBMontgomery
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