Trade

Juncker: Trade talks with Trump were no fun

The EU is “working at all levels” to avoid an escalation of trade tensions with the United States, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said Monday, adding that talks with Donald Trump had been “no fun, no entertainment.”

Juncker told a conference hosted by the Süddeutsche Zeitung in Berlin that in July he had spent “six hours with Trump” discussing trade. “It was a very competitive event, pretty rough from time to time, it was no fun, no entertainment, but … there is no new trade war between the U.S. and Europe. Two days before he [Trump] still said he would do that [slap tariffs on imports of European cars], but thank goodness he didnt do that. We are still continuing with negotiations on all levels.”

“I am not a trade fetishist,” Juncker said. “We have to make sure EU values are not in danger, but we need these trade agreements.”

He added that he remains “a proponent of transatlantic relations, because we could not have done so many things in Europe without active support from the U.S.”

Trump and Juncker both attended Armistice commemorations in France over the weekend, including a lunch organized by French President Emmanuel Macron at the Elysée Palace.

Juncker, who was seated opposite Trump and next to Russian President Vladimir Putin at the lunch, said “it was interesting to listen to these two guys.”

The former prime minister of Luxembourg said he will meet Trump again at a G20 leaders summit in Buenos Aires on November 30 and December 1.

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