Malmstrom-Lighthizer meeting did nothing to quell autos storm

Trade talks between the U.S. and EU may not be proceeding to plan. The two are discussing a potential trade deal that is designed, as discussed in Panjiva's 4Q Outlook for trade policy, to yield near-term benefits in the form of a reduction in technical barriers to trade. Formal talks can't start until Jan. 14. Yet, EU Trade Commission Cecilia Malmstrom has indicated, following meetings with U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, the EU is working on a "rebalancing list" of products to target with tariffs should the U.S. implement its section 232 "national security" duties to the automotive industry. Progress on the latter is slow, as flagged in Panjiva's Nov. 13 report, but the EU has so far been promised an exemption.