Trump delays EU tariffs at the 11th hour

The threat of a US trade war hangs over Europe for another month, says Matthew Partridge.

Can a US-EU deal be done?

This content is subject to copyright.

European negotiators "will need to sweat through another month of heat" as Donald Trump's administration "presses them for more concessions", says Tory Newmyer in The Washington Post. Although the US president decided "at the 11th hour" to delay the planned tariffs on industrial metals until June, he is still demanding "quotas that would limit European imports". Europeans, meanwhile, are baulking "at negotiating under the tariff threat".

Advertisement - Article continues below

Quite right too, says the FT's Wolfgang Munchau. Any concession from Brussels, such as a voluntary export restraint, could be "dangerous". Not only would it mean losing face, a deal might unravel swiftly given Trump's unpredictability. Some form of retaliation is inevitable if Trump does impose tariffs, but the EU's "best longer-term bet is to continue the slow process of exporting its influence through trade diplomacy, involving the US where possible and going round it where not".

It may be too late for that, says Hans Von Der Burchard in Politico. Cracks in the "proclaimed unity of the EU" are starting to show. Brussels has already indicated it is "ready to work" with Trump and crack down on China's overproduction of subsidised steel; Germany's "all-powerful motor industry is terrified of a trade war" and minded to "strike a bargain". Some in Berlin even hope the dispute could spark trade talks along the lines of the "doomed Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership", says Handelsblatt although this would be a "tall order" since it would require a mandate from the EU's 28 member states.




How long can the good times roll?

Despite all the doom and gloom that has dominated our headlines for most of 2019, Britain and most of the rest of the developing world is currently en…
19 Dec 2019

Why Wall Street has got the US economy wrong again

The hiring slowdown does not signal recession for the US economy. Growth is just moving down a gear, says Brian Pellegrini.
25 Oct 2019
UK Economy

Mervyn King: why the Covid pandemic is a classic example of radical uncertainty

This week, Merryn talks to ex-governor of the Bank of England Merryn King about the pandemic and how to prepare for a future that is unknowable; the g…
2 Jun 2020
UK Economy

“Stealth” debt jubilees are here – and that’s a very good thing

We may not have had a full-scale debt jubilee, but many Covid relief measures quietly amount to “micro-jubilees”. That’s something to celebrate, says …
1 Jun 2020

Most Popular

UK Economy

What bounce back loans can tell us about how we’ll pay for all this

The government will guarantee emergency "bounce back loans" for small businesses hit by Covid-19. Inevitably, many businesses will default. And there'…
1 Jun 2020

This looks like the biggest opportunity in today’s markets

With low interest rates and constant money-printing, most assets have become expensive. But one major asset class hasn’t. John Stepek explains why com…
2 Jun 2020

These seven charts show exactly why you must own gold today

Covid-19 is accelerating many trends that were already in existence. The rising gold price is one such trend. These seven charts, says Dominic Frisby,…
3 Jun 2020