Posted on Sep 16, 2019
U.S. ambassador to the EU Gordon Sondland has slammed the EU's next trade commissioner before he's even taken office, branding his comments about Donald Trump "unhelpful" and "very condescending." Sondland warned of the dangers of "someone handling the EU trade portfolio whose sole approach is belligerence," Politico reports.
Commissioner Phil Hogan, currently European agriculture commissioner, is expected to take over the trade portfolio on November 1st. He told Ireland’s RTE radio last week he would do everything he could “to get Mr. Trump to see the error of his ways” on trade. The veteran Irish politician said he hopes the U.S. president will “abandon some of the reckless behavior that we have seen from him in relation to his relationship with China and describing the European Union as a security risk."
Sondland said that "saying that you're going to teach President Trump how trade works ... cannot be viewed as anything but a very condescending comment."
Sondland said he expects any future EU trade commissioner to vigorously advocate on the bloc's behalf but added: “I don't think you want someone handling the EU trade portfolio whose sole approach is belligerence, because that just results in an impasse, a stalemate and then people start to do things that you don't want them to do.”
Reminded that Trump's own rhetoric is often forceful, Sondland drew a distinction between language used by political leaders and what he said was more appropriate for ministers and negotiators.
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