© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: U.S. Senate Finance Committee conducts hearing on nomination of Katherine Tai to be U.S. Trade Representative.
By David Lawder
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai on Monday told European officials she wanted to develop “a more positive and productive” trade relationship with Europe, despite disputes over aircraft subsidies and digital services taxes, USTR said.
Tai and Spain’s Industry Minister Reyes Maroto agreed in a phone call to “strengthen U.S.-Spanish collaboration on mutual interests,” including resolving a 17-year dispute over subsidies to Airbus and Boeing (NYSE:), USTR said in a statement.
The two also discussed Spain’s digital services tax and the problem of excess steel and aluminum capacity that has resulted in U.S. tariffs on imports of the metals, and committed to “finding mutually beneficial outcomes.”
Earlier in the day, Tai discussed her desire for better European Union ties with Margrethe Vestager, the EU’s competition commissioner.
The two officials agreed to work together on priorities such as climate change, the digital economy and strengthening U.S.-EU cooperation to deal with large, non-market economies such as China, USTR said.
Tai last week said she was proceeding with preparations for potential tariffs against goods from Spain, Austria, Britain, Italy, India and Turkey over digital services taxes imposed by those countries. USTR also is maintaining a tariff threat in retaliation for France’s digital tax.
In a separate call, U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen spoke with French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire about the importance of resolving the digital tax dispute through OECD negotiations.
Vestager has long been an advocate for Europe to be a leader in ensuring that technology giants such as Google (NASDAQ:), Facebook (NASDAQ:) and Apple (NASDAQ:) pay their fair share of taxes in the region.
USTR investigations launched by the Trump administration found that digital taxes imposed by the six countries and France discriminate against the U.S. tech firms.
Tai said on Friday that her move to seek public comments on potential tariffs would preserve U.S. options in case a global consensus on taxes could not be reached.
USTR said Tai agreed with both Vestager and Maroto to engage on a regular basis.
Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.
Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.