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EU Commission Expects to Get Mandate for Talks With US on Tariffs Before July

© AP Photo / Jacquelyn MartinUS and EU flags
US and EU flags - Sputnik International
DAVOS, Switzerland (Sputnik) - The European Commission expects to receive a mandate for trade negotiations with the United States on behalf of the European Union on the abolition of duties on manufactured goods in the first half this year, European Commissioner for Trade Cecilia Malmstrom told Sputnik.

European Commissioner for Trade Cecilia Malmstrom has answered affirmatively to the relevant question on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos.

On 18 January, the European Commission submitted a draft mandate for such negotiations with the United States to the EU Council for approval. This is done within the framework of the implementation of the July agreements of the commission and US authorities.

READ MORE: US Trade Office Seeks Access to EU Ag Markets Despite Resistance From Brussels

A man walks near US and European Union flags at the EU headquarters on May 15, 2017 in Brussels - Sputnik International
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In the first half of 2018, the United States and the European Union exchanged import tariffs following the US decision to impose duties on metal imports from third countries. However, in July, the two sides agreed on cooperation aimed at easing trade barriers.

Tensions between Washington and Brussels escalated last year when the EU filed a complaint with the WTO over US metal tariffs, which affected $7.3 billion in metal imports from Europe. The EU responded by imposing duties on $3.3 billion worth of US products — including steel, agricultural products, food staples, vessels, and clothing.

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