October 16, 2019 / 5:48 PM / a month ago

UPDATE 1-Trump broaches tariffs to solve U.S.-EU trade problems, but says 'would be too harsh'

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WASHINGTON, Oct 16 (Reuters) - President Donald Trump on Wednesday said that charging additional tariffs on European imports could instantly resolve trade issues between the United States and European Union but he was not ready to add levies at this point.

"We welcome Italy's support for a mutually beneficial trade agreement with the EU that ensures a level playing field for American workers. It hasn't been that for many, many years," Trump said at a news conference with Italian President Sergio Mattarella.

"I could solve the problem instantly but it would be too harsh. It would involve tariffs on European products coming into this country and for right now we're going to try to do it without that."

Earlier this month, the United States got the green light to place tariffs on European Union goods in a dispute over EU aircraft subsidies.

The World Trade Organization (WTO) left Scottish whisky makers, Spanish winemakers and French cheesemakers fuming as the U.S. tariffs targeted products from countries in the Airbus consortium. (Reporting by Alexandra Alper; Writing by Lisa LambertEditing by Chizu Nomiyama and Cynthia Osterman)

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