GUE/NGL MEP Helmut Scholz (DIE LINKE, Germany) has denounced the outcome of trade talks this week between Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and President Trump. Both sides have agreed to “work together toward zero tariffs, zero non-tariff barriers, and zero subsidies on non-auto industrial goods”.

Scholz comments: “The special rules agreed are nothing more than a light version of TTIP. International trade relations will be harmed in several ways. The agreement has nothing to do with equal trade relations and is in detriment of relations with other regions and of other trade conflicts, especially those with China, which remain unresolved. Trump wants the breakup of EU economic and trade cooperation with other states, which make his ‘America first’ strategy more difficult to enforce.”

“The European Parliament, in particular the Committee on International Trade (INTA), has obviously been fooled. The Commission has overstepped its remit. It needs a new mandate to negotiate such a deal. This shows that the voice of MEPs is inconvenient and undesirable as shown previously with other agreements such as TTIP, CETA and JEFTA.”

“The main beneficiaries of the agreement are, above all, European car manufacturers. German Minister of Economy Peter Altmaier was forthcoming despite Trump not making any commitment to withdraw the threat of barriers for EU car exporters before further negotiations.”

“Trade Commissioner Malmström and Juncker's announcement in Washington leave fundamental questions about social, labour, environment and consumer protection standards. Not a word on the service sector, where the US has trade superiority. “

“If this agreement will be the measure of all things, what purpose will be left for discussions with other trade partners within the context of overdue reforms of the WTO? There is reason to believe that a trade war may become global. There will be no winners in a world where economies are increasingly interconnected and interdependent. The measure of all things should instead be the achievement of the 17 goals of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development,” Scholz concluded.

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