The US President made the damning assessment of the EU in April last year on Twitter as he slammed the bloc’s approach to Brexit talks. He also sent a warning to Europe’s leaders that if they were to continue making life hard for Britain, it would “come back to bite” them. Mr Trump said: “Too bad that the European Union is being so tough on the United Kingdom and Brexit. “The EU is likewise a brutal trading partner with the United States, which will change.
“Sometimes in life you have to let people breathe before it all comes back to bite you!”
It was not the first time that the billionaire has taken aim at the bloc, though.
Mr Trump’s hostility towards the EU peaked amid a trade conflict with Brussels, which started in March 2018 when the President announced he would hike tariffs on steel and aluminium.
The White House chief fanned the flames when he responded to widespread anger by jibing that “trade wars are good”.
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The move hit steel with 25 percent tariffs and aluminium with 10 percent tariffs, causing of Brussels’ most influential figures to swipe back in anger.
Then European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker promised a firm reaction as the EU prepared for hefty economic damage
He said: “We will not sit idly while our industry is hit with unfair measures that put thousands of European jobs at risk.”
Mr Juncker also threatened retaliatory tariffs, stating that: “We will put tariffs on Harley-Davidson, on bourbon and on blue jeans – Levi’s.”
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In the same year, the US President also made a controversial claim that Washington “can’t even do business” with Brussels because of its policy.
In a speech, he said: “If you look at the European Union, it’s very solidly against us in terms of trade. It’s almost, we can’t even do business.”
He went on to say that the EU sends its cars and “everything” to the US, “and they don’t want to take our product. So we can’t let that happen”.
The economic jostling ultimately led to the breakdown of the EU’s negotiations for a free trade agreement with the US, ripping up a deal which could have been the biggest in the world.
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If ratified, it would have provided a boost to the EU economy worth £101billion, £76billion for the US £85billion for the rest of the world.
But there were accusations of a lack of transparency during the talks, as “consolidated texts” outlining the terms of the trade negotiations were kept in secret rooms – a move described as “undemocratic”.
The deal ultimately fell apart anyway as negotiations were dashed when Mr Trump, who pledged during his presidential campaign to scrap negotiations with Brussels which had already stalled under Barack Obama.
The European Commission published a document in April 2019 stating that negotiations have been declared “obsolete and no longer relevant”.