European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker plans to steer clear of the Twittersphere ahead of his upcoming visit to the White House.
“President Juncker is not communicating via Twitter with President Trump,” Commission spokesperson Mina Andreeva told reporters Friday after she was asked about the U.S. president’s recent Twitter activity at the daily press briefing.
Donald Trump this week accused the EU of taking advantage of the U.S. after the Commission on Wednesday slapped a record €4.3 billion antitrust fine on American tech giant Google.
“I told you so! The European Union just slapped a Five Billion Dollar fine on one of our great companies, Google. They truly have taken advantage of the U.S., but not for long!” the U.S. president tweeted.
Juncker and Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström are traveling to Washington on Wednesday to discuss trade with Trump, as the U.S. threatens to impose import tariffs on cars and car parts.
The meeting is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. local time, Andreeva said, after which Juncker will give a speech on EU-U.S. relations at the Centre for Strategic and International Studies in Washington.
EU officials have admitted to being cautiously pessimistic about the meeting, with Commission Secretary General Martin Selmayr saying Brussels had “low expectations,” for its outcome.
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Andreeva said the meeting will be a “first opportunity to exchange views between presidents Trump and Juncker,” and that its focus will be to “improve transatlantic trade and to forge a stronger economic partnership.”
She told journalists to “stay tuned and follow this for what might be happening or not,” adding Juncker will “be there to plead for the European cause.”
German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Friday that Juncker is heading to Washington with proposals to stave off the introduction of car tariffs.
“He will be making suggestions there about how we can enter into a discussion process to avoid this,” Merkel said at an annual summer press conference.