Trump, EU commission chief discuss ‘trade deal’ in Davos

US President Donald Trump attends a bilateral meeting with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen during the 50th World Economic Forum (WEF) annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland, January 21, 2020. — Reuters pic
US President Donald Trump attends a bilateral meeting with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen during the 50th World Economic Forum (WEF) annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland, January 21, 2020. — Reuters pic

DAVOS, Jan 21 — US President Donald Trump said at a meeting today in Davos with new EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen that they were discussing a trade deal.

Trump, accompanied by top economic advisers including Wilbur Ross and Robert Lighthizer, met with von der Leyen on the sidelines of the Davos economic conference.

“We’re going to talk about a good trade deal. We’ll be discussing other things also,” he told reporters.

Von der Leyen said she was looking forward to working with Trump, saying Americans and Europeans were “good friends”.

Trump said he’d heard von der Leyen is “a very tough negotiator”.

The talks came shortly after Paris announced a truce in its tussle with Washington over plans for taxing US technology companies earning revenue in France. Trump had threatened to hit back with tariffs.

French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire, speaking before a Brussels meeting with EU counterparts, said President Emmanuel Macron and Trump had talked and “agreed to avoid all escalation between the US and France on this digital tax issue.”

A French diplomatic source said the French and US leaders, who spoke by telephone on Sunday, agreed to give negotiations a chance to avoid “a trade war that will benefit no one”. — AFP

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