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Von der Leyen prefers to negotiate with the US on tariffs but warns that the EU will act if there is no agreement

December 4, 2019


The new president of the European Commission, the German conservative Ursula von der Leyen, said on Wednesday that she is in favor of strengthening the path of dialogue with the United States to find a solution to tensions over Washington's tariffs, although she has warned of that the European Union is willing to take action if there is no agreement.

“I prefer to go first to a well-prepared meeting to address the differences we have and see how we can reach a situation in which we all win,” said Von der Leyen at a press conference in Brussels, and then underline that it will not always be possible agreement and that if the result of the negotiation is “negative” then the European Union “we are willing to act.”

Since October, the United States has applied with the endorsement of the World Trade Organization tariffs amounting to 7.5 billion dollars (6.853 million euros) to imports from the European Union – specifically from Spain, France, Germany and the United Kingdom – – in compensation for illegal subsidies received by Airbus.

In addition, the White House has threatened with another 100% tax on a series of French products in retaliation at the rate with which France plans to tax the activity in its territory of digital giants such as Google and Amazon.

Asked about it, the new head of the Community Executive has appealed to the prudence and considered that when talking about possible tariffs or imposing these taxes it is necessary to “take care of the words” and for that reason she has asked to try the negotiation first, although she has said to be aware that some problems will be “difficult” to solve.