Trade relations between the EU and US have been rocky since Donald Trump was elected on a platform of protectionism and nationalism. Negotiations on a Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) were stopped until further notice at the end of 2016.
When Trump imposed additional import duties on steel and aluminum imports, MEPs called the move unacceptable and incompatible with WTO rules. Tensions escalated last year when Trump threatened to slap additional tariffs on European cars in the name of national security. Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the European Commission, met Trump to discuss the threat and the two agreed to relaunch trade talks with a limited scope.
The EU Council of Ministers adopted draft negotiating mandates in April 2019. Any deal resulting from these talks has to be approved by the European Parliament before it can enter into force.