WASHINGTON — After a White House meeting last July, President Trump and Jean-Claude Juncker, the European Commission president, stepped into the Rose Garden and proclaimed they had a trade deal or, at the very least, the makings of a future pact.
Eight months later, it is increasingly obvious that the two leaders had nothing close to that level of agreement.
American and European negotiators are at odds over what to include in a prospective trade deal, ratcheting up trans-Atlantic tensions and jeopardizing talks before they even begin. Trump administration officials insist that any deal must address the agricultural trade barriers that the president says put American farmers at a disadvantage, in part because such an agreement would be more likely to win congressional approval. European officials counter that agriculture was never on the table — not last July, and not now.
“It should cover industrial goods, and that’s it,” Cecilia Malmstrom, the European trade commissioner, said in Bucharest, Romania, last month. “We are not talking about agriculture.”
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