Phil Hogan, the new Trade Commissioner for the European Union, was in Washington, D.C., last week and spoke about the tense relationship between the EU and the U.S. Reports say Hogan promises to “robustly defend” European interests as he justified the European position on trade disagreements with the U.S. over airplane subsidies, digital taxes, and the World Trade Organization. He criticized American officials for being inaccurate in claiming that trade between the U.S. and EU was unbalanced, while also saying America’s aggressive use of tariffs against trading partners was “hardly sensible.”
His comments came as the U.S. is considering the use of new tariffs against the European Union trading bloc. However, Hogan ruled out the possibility of a three-way trade relationship between the EU, the U.S., and the United Kingdom in a post-Brexit world. U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross says that sealing the phase one trade deal with China and congressional passage of USMCA boosts the U.S. negotiating stance with Europe. “Our position is infinitely better already just because of these two deals,” Ross says.