‘NO MORE TOLERANCE’ Donald Trump’s trade tsar blasts ‘rubbish’ EU policies

Secretary of Commerce, Wilbur Ross, accused the European Union (EU) of holding the entire world back over its restrictive policies ahead of crucial bank talks this week.

Mr Ross blasted the organisation claiming its deficits “eats the surpluses of the whole rest of the world“. 

In a scathing assessment New Jersey-born Mr Ross also questioned why the bloc was happy to accept the £399billion ($ 500bn) deficit with the USA.

The United States population is currently estimated at 323 million while the EU’s was estimated to be 510.3 million people in 2016.

However the US imports considerably more from the EU than it exports with figures from the Census Bureau showing a clear £116,633m ($ 146,340.1m) deficit for 2016.

Mr Ross said the Trump administration is not going to be “tolerant” of the deficit which has been running concurrently for 40 years.

And he blasted critics who questioned the president’s “protectionist” policies insisting they were talking a load of “rubbish”.

Mr Ross , 72, who built his multi-billion dollar fortune turning companies from the manufacturing and steel industries around, also took aim at Japan and China.

In an interview with the FT he said: “The response is very simple.

“We are the least protectionist of the major areas.

“We are far less protectionist than Europe.

“We are far less protectionist than Japan.

“We are far less protectionist than China.

“We also have trade deficits with all three of those places.

“So they talk free trade.

“But in fact what they practice is protectionism.

“And every time we do anything to defend ourselves, even against the puny obligations that they have, they call that protectionism.

“It’s rubbish.”

Mr Ross was speaking ahead of this week’s International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank meetings where trade and debt will be discussed. 

And he took aim at controversial IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde who last week made bizarre comments about US foreign policy.

The French lawyer, who was convicted of criminal negligence charges over a deal she was involved in when she was French finance minister, appeared to criticise Mr Trump’s trade plans last week.

Mrs Lagarde, who earns £355,000-a-year at the Washington based organisation, said Mr Trump’s desire to put his own country first would be a “self-inflicted wound”.

However Mr Ross hit back questioning her “sloganeering” adding: “’We like it that way. So we don’t want you to disrupt it’. That’s what they are really saying when you strip it away.

“Our tolerance for continuing to be the deficit that eats the surpluses of the whole rest of the world – the president is not tolerant about that any more.” 

Mr Ross’ comments are only set to embolden Prime Minister Theresa May as she attempts to negotiate a free trade deal with the EU on completion of Brexit.

She has asked for the 700,000 pages of red tape to be removed and that the European Commission stops its punitive strategies.

The latest policy announcements from the Trump administration come after The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) deal being negotiated behind closed doors between the EU and USA stalled.

Daily Express :: World Feed

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