Ready to negotiate limited trade agreement with US including cars: European Union

File photo. Photograph:( Others )

AFP Brussels, Belgium May 17, 2019, 09.32 PM (IST)

The European Union said Friday it is prepared to negotiate a limited trade deal, including on cars, with the US, after President Donald Trump held off imposing auto tariffs.

"We note that US postpones decision on car tariffs for 180 days," European trade commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom tweeted. "The EU is prepared to negotiate a limited trade agreement including cars."

Earlier, Germany welcomed President Donald Trump's decision to hold off on imposing punitive tariffs on European car imports, saying this helped prevent a trade conflict from escalating.

"It is an important signal for the German and European economy that a new escalation of the trade conflict could be prevented for the time being," said Economy Minister Peter Altmaier. 

President Donald Trump on Friday had announced he will delay by six months a decision on imposing steep tariffs on imported autos while the United States pursues talks with key trading partners.

"Within 180 days... the Trade Representative shall update me on the outcome of the negotiations," Trump said in a proclamation issued by the White House.

In his proclamation on Friday, Trump described the US auto sector as facing decline due to unfair foreign competition.

A report by Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross concluded that America's shrinking share of the auto market jeopardized its research, development and manufacturing -- all "vital to national security." 
 

Story highlights

President Donald Trump had announced he will delay by six months a decision on imposing steep tariffs on imported autos while the United States pursues talks with key trading partners.