President Donald Trump threatened the European Union with more tariffs if the bloc doesn’t negotiate a trade deal with the U.S., and vowed a veto of a bill poised to pass the Senate that would nix his emergency declaration to build a wall on the southern border.
TRUMP ON TRADE
As the U.S. and the EU struggle to iron out their differences on trade, Trump said, “they are willing to talk to us and if they don’t talk to us, we’re going to do something that’s going to be pretty severe economically. We’re going to tariff a lot of their products.” The president was almost certainly referring to imports of cars from the EU, a threat he has made in the past.
Trump made his comments to reporters as he met with Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar in the Oval Office. Trump also said on Twitter he anticipated a “large scale” trade deal with the United Kingdom, which is facing a delayed exit from the European Union.
See: 15 days until Brexit: Here’s what happens next.
With the Senate preparing to vote on overturning Trump’s national emergency, he told reporters, “I’ll probably have to veto it,” and predicted his action wouldn’t be overturned by Congress.
The declaration is already the subject of a legal challenge. Trump has attempted to coax Republicans into voting his way on the issue and painted those who vote against him as standing with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and for crime and open borders.
But Trump showed some flexibility on the issue in a tweet Thursday morning, saying if Congress wants to “update the law” at a later date, he’ll support lawmakers. He didn’t elaborate on how statute could be updated.
The president also commented on the latest Democrat to jump into the presidential race, Beto O’Rourke, taking a jab at the Texan’s hand gestures.
See: Trump says he’s never seen as much hand movement as Beto O’Rourke’s.
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