July 25, 2018 / 12:58 AM / 3 months ago

Trump downbeat ahead of trade talks with EU

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump took a pessimistic view of talks with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker set for Wednesday aimed at averting a trade war.

In a tweet on Tuesday night, Trump said both the United States and the European Union should drop all tariffs, barriers and subsidies.

“That would finally be called Free Market and Fair Trade!” Trump said. “Hope they do it, we are ready - but they won’t!” he said.

Trump has accused the EU of unfair trade practices and has threatened to raise tariffs on cars imported from the bloc.

European Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom, who will accompany Juncker, said last week that the EU was preparing a list of U.S. products to hit if the United States imposed the tariffs.

Juncker will not arrive in Washington with a specific trade offer, the commission said on Monday.

“I do not wish to enter into a discussion about mandates, offers because there are no offers,” Commission spokesman Margaritis Schinas told a news conference in Brussels.

White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow has said he expected Juncker to come with a “significant” trade offer.

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Reporting by Eric Beech; Editing by Sandra Maler

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