29 EU ambassadors to the United States, including Malta’s Ambassador Pierre Clive Agius, have published an open letter to the United States in The Washington Post criticising President Donald Trump’s trade policies.
The letter, which comes after Trump imposed hefty aluminium and steel tariffs on the EU and other trade allies, focuses on the trade and investment relationship between the EU and the US – a relationship which, the ambassadors say, “other countries can only dream of.”
“The EU invests more in the United States, buys more American services and employs more American workers than the other way around,” the letter states. “As a ready comparison: 45 of 50 US states export more to the EU than they do to China. And what of China’s foreign direct investment into the United States? It’s around one-hundredth that of Europe’s.”
“But, as with any partnership,” the letter continued, “the prospect of unilateral action by one side, to the detriment of the other partner, places the entire mutually beneficial relationship at risk.”
The ambassadors described Trump’s new tariffs on imports a significant step in a “protectionist direction” and concluded by calling for the two economies to “focus on what benefits us both.”
“Together we should tackle intellectual property theft and look at how we can further reduce red tape, regulatory barriers and tariffs between us – facilitating innovation and investment, to the mutual benefit of business and consumers on both sides of the Atlantic,” the letter concludes. “This, not tariffs and quotas, would be moving in the right direction.”
Mr Trump announced tariffs late last month in efforts to balance out what he has deemed to be unfair trade arrangements with various countries. The move has infuriated leaders in Europe, Canada and Mexico, prompting retaliatory threats on US goods.
The EU and Canada have also filed cases against the US with the World Trade Organisation.
Read the full letter here