EU’s U.S.-Trade Surplus Narrows as Trump Calls for America First

  • Trade surplus at 115.3 billion euros in 2016: Eurostat
  • Trump has lashed out against market-opening initiatives

The European Union’s trade surplus with the United States narrowed in 2016, at a time when President Donald Trump’s stance on open-market policies throws question marks over the world’s biggest economic relationship.

The 28-country region recorded a 115.3 billion-euro ($122 billion) surplus last year, compared with 122 billion euros in 2015, the European Union’s statistics office in Luxembourg said on Wednesday.  

Trump has criticized other countries for their trade practices and lashed out against market-opening initiatives such as the planned Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, or TTIP, with the EU. In his inaugural speech, he pledged to follow an “America first” economic policy, calling on his countrymen to “buy American and hire American.” 

The EU has acknowledged that TTIP will probably be “put in the freezer” as a result of Trump’s election, European Commission Vice-President Jyrki Katainen said in an interview last month. EU and U.S. trade officials have spent three years negotiating a deal to eliminate tariffs on goods, enlarge services markets, open public procurement and bolster regulatory cooperation.

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