Trump, Merkel support US-EU trade improvement

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Washington, Aug 28 (IANS) US President Donald Trump and German Chancellor Angela Merkel have agreed on the need to improve US trade relations with the European Union following the recent escalation in disputes.

Trump and Merkel in a phone call on Monday “strongly supported ongoing discussions between Washington and Brussels to remove barriers to a deeper trading relationship”, White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said in a statement.

The US-EU relations have faltered following Trump’s decision to end tax exemptions on steel and aluminium products from its European partners and the subsequent response from Brussels, Efe news reported.

In addition, the US President has repeatedly threatened to levy a 20 per cent tariff on all European vehicles imported into the US, a move that has not been well received by its Transatlantic partner.

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Trump earlier called Europe “possibly as bad as China” in terms of its trade issues with the US, despite Washington spending a “fortune in NATO to protect them”.

Apart from discussing their trade relations, Trump and Merkel also spoke about the crisis in Syria and the joint efforts to resolve the conflict in eastern Ukraine.

–IANS

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