Trump threatens to do 'something' if WTO does not change

06 July, 2018, 22:35 | Author: Sheila Harris
  • ‘No!’ Dutch Prime Minister smacks down Trump in the Oval Office for ranting that tariffs are ‘positive’

President Trump and Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte had a laugh at the USA media's expense Monday as reporters shouted questions at the two leaders during their White House meeting on trade.

President Donald Trump speaks during a meeting with Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte in the Oval Office of the White House, Monday, July 2, 2018, in Washington.

USA allies are upset with Trump after he imposed a 25 percent tariff on imported steel and a 10 percent tariff on aluminum.

In response, Trump chose to further escalate tensions by threatening the EU with a 20% tariff on all European cars.

During the meeting with Mr Rutte, Mr Trump said he was "very close" to reaching a number of trade deals, describing them as "fair trade deals for our taxpayers, and for our workers and for our farmers".

The issue is controversial within the Dutch cabinet, where coalition partner D66 has strong reservations about Trump's travel ban on citizens from selected Muslim countries.

"It's not positive", he said.

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The Prime Minister then made the case for an ambitious economic and security partnership with the European Union.

"We have to work something out", Rutte added.

French President Emmanuel Macron, who has invested in a warm personal relationship with Trump, said the other G7 nations - Britain, Canada, Germany, Italy and Japan, as well as France - should remain "polite" and productive but warned that "no leader is forever", a sign that Europe would not surrender meekly to the USA president.

U.S. President Donald Trump on Monday said U.S. officials would meet soon with European counterparts to discuss a spate over trade tariffs, saying the European Union wanted to "work something out".

Nonetheless, the embarrassing photo-op for the president ended on a rather good note. Rutte asked Pres Trump, clearly in disbelief at the lack of decorum.

"The relationship between the Netherlands and the United States is over 400 years old", Rutte said. "We are allies. We have always been friends, always been friendly, working closely together".

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