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US-China tariff war should stimulate improvement of trade agreements between Europe and Latin America

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  • Thu, 04/05/2018 - 14:05
Eurolat
  • EFE / Eurodiputado Ramón Jáuregui

Spanish MEP and co-president of the EuroLat Ramón Jáuregui said today in Panama that the tariff war unleashed between the United States and China should "stimulate" the improvement of trade agreements between Europe and Latin America.

Jáuregui also warned that the situation between the United States and China, until now focused on the trade issue, could end in a "more serious conflict".

The co-president of the Euro-Latin American Parliamentary Assembly (EuroLat), who held some working meetings in the Panamanian capital on Wednesday, said that the European Union's trade agreements with Mexico and Chile will be amended "soon", and recalled that negotiations for a free trade agreement with Mercosur are "about to end".

He insisted that the European Union and Latin America have to take advantage of the trade conflict between the two largest economies in the world to strengthen their economic relations.

"The trade war between China and the United States encourages Europe and Latin America to improve their trade agreements," said the MEP and member of the Spanish Socialist Workers Party (PSOE).

The EU has negotiated since 1999 to close a free trade agreement with Mercosur (Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay) and the last round of negotiations took place from February 21 to March 2 in Asunción (Paraguay).

The Spanish MEP also warned that the trade war between China and the United States "has an extraordinary geopolitical dimension."

"What is happening is serious and has an extraordinary geopolitical dimension, because trade wars start being commercial and end in another way. History has demonstrated it," he said.

Jáuregui said that the protectionism “led” by US president Donald Trump not only affects world trade but will end up having a negative impact on Americans.

On Wednesday, China announced the imposition of new tariffs of 25% on 106 products imported from the United States as a response to the rates that the North American country intends to impose on more than 1,300 Chinese products and that would have an impact of 50,000 million dollars, according to estimations from the Office of the United States Foreign Trade Representative (USTR).

These taxes, in addition to those announced by Trump several weeks ago to imports of steel and aluminum of 25% and 10%, respectively, represent a new step in the escalation of trade tensions between the two largest economies in the world.

The EuroLat is an international organization made up of 150 MEPs from European and Latin American countries, created in 2006 to improve and promote relations between both regions. ACAN-EFE

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