Brussels (AFP) – European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker on Friday said he would visit Washington by the end of July to help resolve a bitter trade dispute with US President Donald Trump’s administration.
“I will go to Washington before the end of July,” Juncker said, adding he “will present the European point of view” about ties that have been strained since Trump imposed metal tariffs this month.
“We should de-dramatise these relations,” Juncker told a press conference following a European Union summit, adding both the EU and the US needed the transatlantic relations.
“Sometimes I’m suspecting the American administration to have to divide the European Union into different member states when it comes to trade,” said Juncker who heads the EU’s executive arm.
“This is a competence of the European Union and the European Commission,” the former Luxembourg premier said.
He said he was not sure the two sides will find an agreement on trade, adding: “We will try.”
Last week the European Union slapped revenge tariffs on iconic US products including bourbon, jeans and motorcycles in its opening salvo in a trade war with Trump.
Within hours, Trump responded with a threat to impose a 20-percent tariff on cars imported from the European Union.
The Trump administration on June 1 followed through on its threat to implement tariffs on European exports of aluminium and steel. The measures also target Canada and Mexico.