BRUSSELS – The European Union said on Monday it was ready to react if US President Donald Trump were to impose restrictive trade measures against the bloc.
In a recent interview, Trump had said he was annoyed by the EU’s trade policy, which he described as “very, very unfair to the US,” adding a veiled threat that it could turn out to be to the 28-nation bloc’s detriment.
“The EU stands ready to react swiftly and appropriately in case our exports are affected by any restrictive trade measure from the US,” said European Commission spokesman Margaritis Schinas during the institution’s daily press briefing.
Schinas added that the EU does not view trade as a zero-sum game with winners and losers, but rather as something that can and should benefit both parties.
“While trade has to be open and fair, it also has to be rules-based,” Schinas said.
Trump, who claimed that the US was currently unable to sufficiently export to the EU, had also warned that his annoyance with Europe’s trade policy “may morph into something very big” in the future.
“We cannot get our product in,” Trump told Piers Morgan, of the British broadcaster ITV. “It’s very, very tough. And yet they send their product to use. No taxes, very little taxes.”
The Trump administration recently decided to impose new tariffs – amounting to 30 percent on imported solar cells and modules, and 20 percent on washing machines – as part of its so-called “America First” trade agenda based on aggressive protectionism.