Two major issues dominated Thursday’s meeting of European Union leaders: the bloc’s trade ties with the United States and Russia’s role in the poisoning of a former double agent in the English city of Salisbury.
Paris has welcomed remarks by German Chancellor Angela Merkel on EU reform – her first since President Emmanuel Macron's Sorbonne call for "a Europe that protects." They meet at a road-map summit near Berlin on June 19.
The EU has recalled its ambassador to Russia in response to a poisoning, but Paris and Berlin want further action. Emmanuel Macron and Angela Merkel stood side by side as they went on to condemn US tariffs.
Berlin holds little hope that the EU will be granted a further exemption from US metals tariffs beyond a May 1 deadline. Washington has demanded concessions in the auto industry to drop the tariffs.
US President Donald Trump’s planned tariffs on steel and aluminum have met with massive outrage, and have sparked concerns that the measure will distort trade, cost jobs and ultimately lead to a tit-for-tat trade war.
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