EU Brexit negotiator Guy Verhofstadt on Tuesday praised Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte for explicitly standing up to US President Donald Trump on trade policies.
“Very good that liberal Prime Minister Mark Rutte said “No” to Trump. A trade war is the worst outcome the world economy can use right now,” Verhofstadt said.
During a joint press conference in the White House, Rutte interrupted Trump with a firm “No” just as the US leader was saying that failure to reach an EU trade deal would be a positive development. The video of Rutte’s interjection was picked up by numerous media outlets on Monday.
The United States and the European Union are locked in a dispute on trade, which began with the White House imposing tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from Canada, Mexico and the European Union, starting from June 1. On June 22, the bloc introduced tariffs on a wide variety of US goods in response.
The Trump administration has threatened to tax EU car imports, but the European Commission has warned Washington that this measure would be harmful to the US economy itself.