After four years of US President Donald Trump’s “America First” program in which Washington imposed a tax on Brussels for national security reasons, the EU now seeks closer cooperation with Biden on almost every issue.
The European Union and the United States must resolve their differences after US President Joe Biden took office in January on a “new transatlantic plan”, an EU official said on Wednesday, setting out his wish list for better relations.
After four years of US President Donald Trump’s “America First” program in which Washington imposed tariffs on Brussels for national security reasons, the EU now seeks closer cooperation with Biden on almost every issue.
The United States and the EU “must work together to resolve trade disputes,” the European Commission said in a statement issued by the EU government, noting that EU-US trade accounts for a third of world trade.
However, the 12-page document presented by EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell did not comment on progress, other than on “shared values of human dignity, human rights and democracy.”
“We would like to have a friendly agreement between us and not go to the World Trade Organization, which is the way you go if you don’t agree,” Borrell told a news conference.
The European Union is awaiting a decision from the WTO on its US tariffs on steel and aluminum. Borrell said the EU would like to talk and not wait for WTO settlements.
Like NATO, the EU hopes to hold a 2021 summit with Biden. EU leaders will discuss their approach at a meeting on December 10.
Both the EU and the United States have imposed tariffs on airline funding. Washington has threatened other activities with regard to EU tax plans for digital service companies.
Both sides have differing views on the importance of the WTO and its dispute resolution system, which Washington has disabled by blocking the appointment of judges.
Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said in September “too much power is taking itself out of institutions or holding them hostage for personal gain,” criticizing the United States.
In its proposal, the EU said the first step would be for the EU and the United States to finalize the appointment of a new WTO director-general and to “look at how they can restore the vital work of resolving disputes by changing the Appellate Body.”
The Commission said the EU and the US should also open up “transatlantic dialogue” in the power of large tech companies, find appropriate ways to tax themselves and deal with “market distortions”.
Other workplaces will focus on a fifth-generation network, installation ingenuity, data flow and collaboration on controls and standards.