WASHINGTON - President Donald Trump said Monday the U.S. will be talking with European officials about eliminating tariffs it believes hurt the American economy.
Trump, in a Twitter remark, said Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross plans to talk with European Union officials about what the president described as "large Tariffs and Barriers they use against the U.S.A."
He said the levies are "not fair to our farmers and manufacturers."
Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross will be speaking with representatives of the European Union about eliminating the large Tariffs and Barriers they use against the U.S.A. Not fair to our farmers and manufacturers.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 12, 2018
His tweet echoed comments this past weekend, when he said Europe has "wonderful countries who treat the U.S. very badly on trade."
Trump, representing the world's single largest economy, and officials of the 28-nation EU, collectively the biggest economy, have sparred over Trump's imposition of a new 25 percent tariff on steel imports to the U.S. and 10 percent on aluminum imports.
In response, EU officials have threatened to add taxes to an array of signature U.S. exports, including Harley Davidson motorcycles, blue jeans, bourbon, cranberries and orange juice.
Trump in turn has suggested that if the Europeans boost tariffs on U.S. products he would impose new levies on popular German cars exported to the U.S.
Europe's top trade official, Cecilia Malmstroem, said trade is being used "as a weapon to threaten and intimidate us."
"But we are not afraid, we will stand up to the bullies," she said.
Top U.S. and EU trade officials met Saturday in Brussels, but failed to iron out their differences. Malmstroem said talks would continue this week.