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Bloc willing to build bridges in trade dispute with US: EU

EU finance chief Pierre Moscovici has said that the bloc is willing to build bridges in the ongoing trade dispute with the US.

“What I stressed several times in my meetings here is that the EU is certainly not the author of major trade imbalances,” said Moscovici while addressing reporters during the Group of 20 summit in Buenos Aires.

On Saturday, US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said he will push China and the EU to agree on a more “balanced” relationship on trade.

“We believe that targeting us is certainly inappropriate … and that we must act with the US as allies – not foes but allies,” added Moscovici.

Moscovici went on to slam US President Donald Trump for creating the trade tensions with Europe.

“These meetings take place in an international context which is changing…The multilateral system of which the G20 is a central piece is under significant pressure, trade tensions are high and threaten to escalate further. All of this creates uncertainty for the economic outlook,” he added.

“We must remain cool-headed,” he further noted.

Also on Saturday, France announced that the EU will not be negotiating a free trade agreement with Washington until the US withdraws its steel and aluminum tariffs.

Trump imposed duties of 25 percent on steel imports and 10 percent on aluminum in March.

In retaliation, the EU slapped tariffs on classic American goods, such as tobacco and motorcycles, prompting Trump to suggest hefty levies on European goods, notably cars, could be on the way.

The strained ties between Washington and the EU went into a spiral when the US president called the bloc “a foe” in an interview aired last week.

“I think we have a lot of foes,” Trump told CBS News in an interview segment that aired Sunday on “Face the Nation.” “I think the European Union is a foe, what they do to us in trade. Now you wouldn’t think of the European Union, but they’re a foe.”

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