EU and US try to resolve trade differences

European Commissioner for Trade Phil Hogan said his meetings with senior US officials marked a good start to restore trade ties with Washington, but there is still a lot of work to be done, Reuters reported.

Hogan met with US Trade Representative Robert Lightheiser twice during his visit, emphasizing Brussels' desire to agree to resolve disagreements between the Allies and avoid costly and economically harmful costs, in particular tariffs.

"It’s a good start ... but we’ve a lot more to do..." Hogan told reporters after over three days of meetings with U.S. officials, lawmakers and business executives, with further trips planned in February and March.

According to him, Brussels hopes to take advantage of the concern that it shares with Washington regarding China and the need to reform the World Trade Organization in order to move forward in resolving disputes on airline subsidies, taxes on digital services and trade barriers.

He noted that the EU is ready to consider the conclusion of a "mini-trade deal," similar to those that Washington concluded with Japan and other countries. Hogan noted that introducing eye-to-eye tariffs would hurt both sides, but the EU would react if Washington imposed tariffs on European goods.