LONDON – The European Union trades with America “very unfairly”, President Donald Trump said in an interview aired Sunday, warning that his many problems with Brussels “may morph into something very big”.
“The European Union has treated the United States very unfairly when it came to trade,” Mr Trump told Britain’s ITV channel in the interview conducted Thursday.
“I’ve had a lot of problems with (the) European Union, and it may morph into something very big from that standpoint – from a trade standpoint.”
Mr Trump delivered the warning during a wide-ranging interview on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos, where he took his “America First” agenda to the global business elite.
In a speech Friday he told the forum that his mantra “does not mean America alone” and hinted that the US could rejoin the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a deal he withdrew from a year ago.
But earlier this month the Trump Administration imposed steep tariffs on imported washing machines and solar panels, and his interview comments may cause alarm in European capitals over future trade relations with the US.
Last year it vowed to impose nearly 300 percent punitive tariffs on airplanes manufactured by Canada’s Bombardier.
A bipartisan US trade panel blocked that decision on Friday but the dispute, which has inflamed relations with Ottawa – and to a lesser degree Britain, where Bombardier has a large workforce – could be a harbinger for the EU.
“We cannot get our product in. It’s very, very tough. And yet, they send their product to us – no taxes, very little taxes. It’s very unfair,” Mr Trump added.
“They’re not the only one, by the way, and I could name many countries and places that do (the same).