Trump threats are off-putting but EU could agree a US autos deal, trade body leader says

Gonzalez’s comments come after Trump warned the World Trade Organization (WTO) on Monday that “we’ll be doing something” if the United States isn’t allowed to change the rules on tariff setting.

Some have interpreted that as a threat to leave the WTO, but Gonzalez said that was unlikely, given the decision rested with the U.S. Congress, rather than with Trump.

“You know there is a mechanism where every year the U.S. has a process to decide whether they want to pull out of the WTO. Since the WTO has been in existence, the answer in Congress has invariably been, ‘No, we want to remain a member of the family.’ I doubt this will change soon,” she said.

China’s finance ministry has said it’s waiting for the U.S. to make the first move before it implements tariffs on a wide range of U.S. products. Washington has said it would impose tariffs on $34 billion dollars’ worth of U.S. goods on July 6. China has promised to retaliate with equal measures on the same day.

At the same time, Beijing is reportedly pressing the EU to form an anti-U.S. pact against Trump’s trade policies. According to Reuters, it has proposed an alliance between the two economies, and is ready to further open up the Chinese market to Europe in exchange. However, the idea is facing opposition from EU officials wary of teaming up with China.

A China-European summit will take place in Beijing on July 16 and 17.