"EU open to discussing cars, not farming in US trade talks, " by Philip Blinkensop, covers the trade discussions that have been occurring between the United States and the European Union. Although the two sides have not officially sat down and discussed trade agreements, rhetoric from the Trump administration and institutions of the EU indicate that the two sides are already at odds. Just a week ago, President Trump's administration published a long list of wishes for trade negotiations with the EU. Not long after this list was released, the European Commission, in charge of coordinating the EU's trade policies, published two negotiating mandates. Both mandates omitted many of the United States' wishes, most notably leaving out discussions on the US access to agricultural markets. According to EU trade commissioner Cecelia Malmstrom, most topics were left out of the negotiating mandates because it would be too difficult to come to an agreement on them.
The EU's stubbornness presents an interesting dilemma for the President and his administration. The president's inability to enact favorable policies for agriculture, a demographic that widely supported him in the election, has hit America's small farmers much harder than expected. As the 2020 election draws ever closer, the President is likely feeling pressure to re-earn the support of America's farmers and rural communities. However, the President's typical trade policies, centered on the idea of mercantilism, would indicate that he will not be keen on negotiating with the EU at the expense of US interests. It would appear that a liberal trade approach, one that would promote more cooperation and mutual benefit, would be more pragmatic in this situation, but the President's history with trade indicates that he will very reluctant to strike any deals that do not obviously benefit the US over the other side. These polices may prevent a deal with the EU and certainly will not lead to a deal in which US farmers will benefit.