Coronavirus EU meltdown: Brussels faces trade disaster over Trump travel ban
The US president has imposed travel restrictions from mainland Europe to the US for the next 30 days following the global coronavirus pandemic. Jasper Lawler, head of research at the London Capital Group, has said the trading of goods between the US and Europe will be at a “reduced pace” and services will “grind to a halt”. Mr Lawler said: “The travel ban is a decisive step to prevent the spread in the US but will cripple trade between the two continents.
“Goods will still flow but presumably at reduced pace and trade in services will almost grind to a halt.”
Official figures by the European Commission found in 2018 the EU imported £235billion (€267bn) worth of goods from the US.
In the same period the EU exported £358bn (€406bn) worth of good to the US.
Together the bloc and the US account for almost half of the world’s GDP and nearly a third of all trade.
The EU is heavily reliant on US trade, and investment across the Atlantic is eight times greater than the bloc’s trade deal with India and China combined.
Mr Trump announced the travel ban after the World Health Organization (WHO) formally upgraded the health crisis to a pandemic.
Financial markets around the world continued to plunge on Wednesday, France’s CAC 40 slipped 6.6 percent to 4,306.89, while Germany’s DAX lost 6.7 percent to 9,745.59.
The FTSE 100 also plunged 6.5 percent to 5,496.67.
Meanwhile the Dow Jones Industrial Average in the US fell by 5.2 percent.
The coronavirus has infected more than 121,000 people in 118 countries.
Around the world more than 4,300 people have died due to the virus.
In the US the number of cases has soared past 1,000.
Mr Trump announced the travel ban from the Oval Office on Wednesday evening.
He said: “We are marshaling the full power of the federal government and the private sector to protect the American people.
“This is the most aggressive and comprehensive effort to confront a foreign virus in modern history.”
The EU has since condemned the ban and insisted the coronavirus is a worldwide issue and not limited to Europe.
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In a joint statement European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and President of the European Council Charles Michel said the EU was not consulted on the ban by Washington.
They said: “The coronavirus is a global crisis, not limited to any continent and it requires cooperation rather than unilateral action.
“The European Union disapproves of the fact that the US decision to improve a travel ban was taken unilaterally and without consultation.
“The European Union is taking strong action to limit the spread of the virus.”
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