The EU has "nice expectations" of President-elect Biden in commerce


© Reuters. 2020 US Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden speaks at his election rally in Wilmington


BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Union has "great expectations" for a new US president and hopes the US will resume multilateral trade talks, EU officials said Monday.

EU ministers responsible for trade met via video conference Monday, two days after Democrat Joe Biden assumed the presidency. President Donald Trump, with whom Europe has close ties, has not admitted and is facing legal challenges with the result of the November 3 elections.

"There are great expectations and hope that the American presidential elections will lead to a return to multilateral engagement in international trade and that it will be possible to overcome past conflicts," said Federal Economics Minister Peter Altmaier at a press conference before the ministers' meeting.

EU trade chief Valdis Dombrovskis said the European Commission, which coordinates trade policy for the 27 EU member states, has made some informal contacts with Team Biden.

"So some initial contacts were made, including to discuss trade issues," he said.

The EU wants the US to lift US tariffs on steel and aluminum and resolve a dispute over subsidies for civil aircraft for aircraft manufacturers Boeing (NYSE 🙂 and Airbus.

The bloc is ready to impose additional tariffs of $ 4 billion on US imports in a case against Boeing, following an award from the World Trade Organization. The United States already has tariffs on EU products worth US $ 7.5 billion, which were approved in a parallel WTO case related to Airbus.

Dombrovskis, a vice president of the European Commission, reiterated an EU offer that the bloc would suspend its actions if the United States did the same, but said Washington has so far not agreed to it.

"We are always ready to suspend or withdraw our tariffs if the US suspends or withdraws its tariffs. We are ready to do so at any time," he said.

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Steven Gregory