European Union Trade Commissioner Phil Hogan recently said the chances of making a free trade deal with the United States in the near future aren’t good. The announcement comes after U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer blasted the EU for its trade policies and admitted the two sides are nowhere near a deal. That’s despite years that have been already spent trying to make a deal.
“We must acknowledge that the U.S. is now in a pre-election phase,” Hogan said during an informal trade minister meeting in Brussels. “The focus of the political attention in Washington is now on much more immediate challenges in U.S. domestic policies.”
Politico said that EU policy is that it will only sign agreements with countries that are members of the Paris Climate Accord, which is the U.S. is not. However, Lighthizer dismissed those concerns last week. “We’re not close to having any kind of agreement with them,” he says, “so, at this point at least, it’s not my problem. We’ll see what happens as we move along.” Lighthizer made those comments during an event hosted by the Economic Club of New York. While there, Lighthizer accused the EU of doing far more to undermine multilateralism than the Trump administration has ever done.
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