Juncker to meet Trump in Washington on 25 July

US President Donald J. Trump (L) talks with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker (R), at a G20 summit in Hamburg, Germany, 8 July 2017. [Felipe Trueba/ EPA]

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker will meet with US President Donald Trump at the White House on 25 July in an attempt to repair the strained relations between the transatlantic allies.

Trump and Juncker “will focus on improving transatlantic trade and forging a stronger economic partnership,” the Commission said in a statement.

They will also discuss foreign and security issues, counterterrorism and energy security.

Trump told me "You're a brutal killer", Juncker says

Jean-Claude Juncker has been called many things during his premiership of Luxembourg and presidency of the European Commission, but probably never what he says US President Donald Trump called him at the weekend: “a brutal killer”.

Juncker will spend less than 24 hours in Washington, as he will arrive on the eve of the meeting and is expected to leave on that Wednesday, EU sources told Euractiv.

Neither leader is expected to hold a press conference and report to journalists on the outcome of the meeting.

Instead, they will only briefly address journalists, as it happened during the recent visit by Dutch prime minister, Mark Rutte.

On that occasion, the Dutch politician interrupted Trump’s remarks in order to insist on finding a solution to the trade dispute.

EU sources said that Juncker also intends to be firm in defending the “honour” of the EU.

But expectations are low about what results the meeting could bring.

Pushed by Germany, the EU is considering offering Trump a light trade deal that could help to cut down tariffs on products including cars, one of his primary obsessions.

Berlin hopes that such an offer could help to avoid Trump’s tariffs on cars.

Trump threatens 20% levy on all European cars

US President Donald Trump threatened on Friday (22 June) to impose a 20% import tariff on all cars manufactured in the EU if recent sanctions the bloc slapped on Washington are not “broken down and removed”, continuing the tit for tat trade war with America’s nominal allies.

The EU is also willing to speed up the modernisation of the World Trade Organisation and improve its capacity to address unfair practices, one of US Administration’s longstanding demands.

The meeting will take place amid the worst period in seven decades of the transatlantic partnership.

On eve of Russia summit, Trump calls EU 'a foe'

On the eve of his meeting with Russia’s Vladimir Putin, US President Donald Trump rattled allies once more by labeling the European Union a “foe” with regard to trade.

Trump said in an interview last week that its number one “enemy” was the EU because of the trade relations.

Days before that interview was aired, European Council President Donald Tusk told Trump to appreciate his allies because “you don’t have that many.”

Since Trump took office, the disagreements between the two sides kept mounting. Europe and the US Administration clashed over the Paris Agreement, the Iran nuclear deal, trade and military spending.

Trump’s interference in the EU’s handling of Brexit and migration also sparked criticism in the bloc.

Tusk tells Trump: Appreciate your allies, you don’t have that many

“Europe is your best ally, please remember that,” Council President Donald Tusk said on Wednesday (10 July) in an indirect message to US president Donald Trump, who will attend a crucial NATO summit in Brussels this week and then meet Russian President Vladimir Putin.

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