Trump threatens further tariffs ahead of crunch trade talks with Juncker

President Trump say the US is “the piggy bank that is being robbed”

Trump threatens further tariffs ahead of crunch trade talks with Juncker

US President Donald Trump and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker at the G20 summit in Hamburg, Germany, 08-07-2017. Image: Markus Schreiber/DPA/PA Images

The US President has issued a fresh threat to the EU ahead of a crunch trade meeting in Washington.

Donald Trump is due to sit down with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker at the White House this evening.

President Trump sent a number of tweets in the hours ahead of the meeting – one in which he threatened increased tariffs for anyone who defies the Us in trade talks and another in which he called for a new free-trade agreement with the EU.

In one tweet, he said “tariffs are the greatest” and claimed the US is “the piggy bank that is being robbed.”

Later he suggested that both the EU and the US should “drop all Tariffs, Barriers and Subsidies” adding that the US is “ready” to do so.

The meeting comes after the US imposed a 25% levy on the import of steal and 10% on aluminium from the European Union.

The EU hit back with tariffs on US goods worth €2.8bn ($3.3bn), including whiskey, motorcycles and peanuts.

The EU is readying levies on an additional €17.3bn ($20bn) of goods if the US decides to hit its car industry.

Speaking to German public broadcaster ZDF this morning, Mr Juncker warned that he was not optimistic about the talks.

He said the EU is “not in the dock and we don’t have to defend ourselves” adding that the meeting was about “exploring ways to avoid a trade war.”

“I know Mr Trump pretty well,” he said.

“I have met him frequently and know how to deal with him.

“I know how he deals with others and we will negotiate as equals."

EU Budget Commissioner Guenther Oettinger told German broadcaster Deutschlandfunk that the bloc was ready to discuss proposals to cut tariffs.

The two men are due to meet at 6:30pm Irish time.