Valdis Dombrovskis, European Commissioner for Trade, is demanding that we remove our WTO-sanctioned punitive tariffs on EU products, or he’ll start a trade/tariff war with us.
He isn’t even trying to be serious about trade. Leave aside the fact that the current tariffs have been explicitly approved by the WTO, and Dombrovskis’ own duplicity:
Of course, if the US is not withdrawing their tariffs we have no choice but to then introduce our tariffs[.]
Because it’s entirely appropriate for the EU to retaliate against WTO-approved punitive tariffs.
Consider, instead, the larger picture.
Trump has offered the EU, on more than one occasion, a completely tariff-free trade regime. The EU has refused even to discuss the matter.
Dombrovskis has this bit of cynicism, too:
But in any case, we will be engaging…and trying to bring the US administration back within the framework of multilateralism[.]
He—and the EU government for which he works—refuse the multilateralism of that no-tariff trade regime we’ve offered to the EU and each of its multilateral constituent member nations for which the EU governance speaks.