In his first British TV interview in office with ITV’s Piers Morgan made during the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Donald Trump described EU trade policies toward the US as “very, very unfair.”
“They’re not the only one, by the way. I could name many countries and places that do. But the European Union has been very, very unfair to the US. And I think it will turn out to be very much to their detriment.”
“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,” Trump said.
He also criticized the EU for paying very little taxes for the products it exports to the US and demanding high taxes and enforcing draconian regulations on American products.
“We cannot get our product in. It’s very very tough. And yet they send their product to use — no taxes, very little taxes. It’s very unfair.”
Tougher trade regulations
Last week, Trump demanded tougher enforcement of trade rules and signed into law 30 percent tariffs on imports. Trump has repeatedly blamed unfair trade deals and abusive practices for the massive US trade deficit and the loss of high paying factory jobs.
His comments about the EU come days after he imposed steep tariffs on imports of solar panels and washing machines, a move aimed mainly at curbing imports from Asia. They were the first of what administration officials said would be a series of trade-enforcement actions in the coming months.
The US runs a substantial trade deficit with the EU, importing over $93 billion more in goods and services than it exported to EU members in 2016, according to the US Department of Commerce. Germany itself accounted for more than two-thirds of the deficit.
The deficit with China stood at nearly $310 billion in 2016, with imports from Japan and Mexico also exceeding US exports, by $57 billion and $63 billion, respectively.
Shortly before taking office, Trump called the EU a “vehicle for Germany.” After his trip to Europe in May, his first foreign visit as president, he also threatened action against Berlin.