EU backs start of trade talks with US

The European Union can now begin trade negotiations with the United States after its member states on Monday voted by a clear majority to approve the negotiating mandates put forward by the European Commission.

The EU currently has a tense trade relationship with Washington, with Donald Trump threatening to levy tariffs on car imports and other European products.

Green light for trade talks

  • The EU's 28 member states, which had struggled for months to agree on negotiating mandates for the trans-Atlantic trade negotiations, gave final clearance to start formal talks with Washington.
  • France, who has tried to push trade talks until after EU elections, voted against the mandate, while Belgium abstained from the vote.
  • The European Commission's negotiating mandates include cutting tariffs on industrial goods and to make it simpler for companies to show products meet EU and US standards.

dv/rt (Reuters, AFP)

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