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No agriculture in US-EU trade deal: Official

AFP  |  Washington 

The EU stands firm in its refusal to include agriculture in a new trade deal with the United States, said Wednesday.

Malmstroem met in with US Trade to work out an agreement to resolve the trade dispute between the two economies.

While American officials have said the will increase imports of US crops, Malmstroem told reporters, "We have made that very clear that from our side we're not going to include agriculture, that has been made very clear from the beginning."

However, she said, the EU more than doubled imports of American soy beans -- sales of which have plummeted due to a Chinese retaliation in its trade war with the

US and agreed in July that neither side would impose any new tariffs on the other so long as talks continued.

has threatened to slap punishing tariffs on auto imports citing national security concerns, which worries German automakers, but Malmstroem said she continues to expect "the Americans will stick to the agreement," and exempt the EU from any new tariffs.

The is expected to issue a report in early February on the auto tariffs threat, but economists say would deal a serious blow to the global economy.

EU officials are preparing negotiating mandates for a possible deal to eliminate tariffs on industrial goods traded with the United States, which Malmstroem said could include automobiles.

Malmstroem said it "would be very good for both sides if we could get rid of tariffs on all industrial goods." Malmstroem and Lighthizer are meeting Wednesday with Japanese officials as the three sides work on reforms to global trading rules to address alleged unfair practices by

In late 2017, Washington, and announced they were making common cause against alleged market-distorting practices, a clear reference to China, which has accused of stealing intellectual property and massive state intervention in markets.

The three sides are developing proposed reforms to the to address this.

"We are worried about many of the Chinese practices because there are no real rules for that in the WTO and that's what we're trying to remedy," Malmstroem said Wednesday.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Wed, January 09 2019. 22:15 IST
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