Mr Trump has warned the EU Washington could impose “severe” economic pain on Brussels (Image: Getty Images)
The US leader also commented on this week’s Brexit drama, saying the EU-UK divorce was “tearing a lot of countries apart,” before backing an independent trade deal with the UK. EU lawmakers earlier on Thursday failed to approve a key negotiating mandate, after MEPs hostile to the trade deal changed the wording of the text. Mr Trump, for his part, promptly reiterated long-standing tariff threats.
“If they don’t talk to us, we’re going to do something that’s going to be pretty severe, economically. We’re going to tariff a lot of their products coming in. Because the European Union treats us very, very unfairly, I have to say that.
“Very, very. They treat the United States — and they have been for many years — for decades, they’ve treated us very unfairly,” Mr Trump told reporters at the White House.
An agreement on a limited trade deal was a core element of a truce struck in July when European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and Mr Trump promised no new tariffs following those on steel and aluminium.
Their pledge helped to de-escalate tensions at a time when Washington threatened to slap steep duties on European automobiles, a threat that has resurfaced in recent weeks.
PM Theresa May with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker (Image: Getty Images)
Visibly irked by the setback, the US leader continued to vent his frustration at MEPs.
“Because the EU, as you know, has been very tough to deal with, and frankly, they’ve been — it’s been very one-sided for many, many years. And so we’re changing that around, and we’re starting to maybe get somewhere. And if we don’t, we’ll win anyway.”
Opponents to the US-EU trade talks “won a key vote on the rejection of the draft negotiating mandate in the current form,” socialist MEP Bernd Lange said. Some 223 lawmakers voted against the recommendation to