Trump tariffs: President says EU makes business ‘impossible’

US President Donald Trump has said European Union trade rules make it "impossible" for American firms to do business with the bloc.

Defending his tariff plans as he hosted the Swedish PM at the White House, Mr Trump said other countries had "taken advantage of" the US for decades.

His guest, Stefan Lofven, said: "I am convinced that increased tariffs will hurt us all in the long run."

The EU has drawn up a $3.5bn (£2.5bn) hit list of retaliatory tariffs.

Motorbikes, whiskey and T-shirts are on the bloc's list of 100 American products, the BBC understands.

Bikes, bourbon and T-shirts on EU tax list

The US president's proposed global duties on steel and aluminium have raised the prospect of a tit-for-tat trade war.

"The European Union has been particularly tough on the United States," Mr Trump said at Tuesday's joint press conference with the Swedish prime minister.

"They make it almost impossible for us to do business with them," Mr Trump complained.

Mr Trump said if the EU retaliated, the US would impose a 25% tax on European cars.

But the US president also said America would levy tariffs in a "loving, loving way".

"They'll like us better and they'll respect us more," he said about US trade partners who object to the plan.

Mr Trump repeated his belief that the US would win any trade war, since it was running such a large trade deficit.

"When we're behind on every single country, trade wars aren't so bad," he told reporters at the White House.

Mr Trump's decision to raise import taxes on steel to 25% and aluminium to 10% prompted strong reactions around the world last week.

Mr Lofven, who is the first European leader to visit the White House since the tariffs were announced last week, said: "I, of course, support the efforts of the European Union to achieve trade with fewer obstacles."

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