Europe News

Trump voices concerns on US jobs being lost because of Brexit

Emmanuel Dunand | AFP | Getty Images

President Donald Trump might have once supported the British decision to leave the European Union, but he is now seemingly worried about the impact of Brexit for U.S. workers.

"On Brexit, (Trump) expressed concern that jobs in the U.S. would be lost because of Brexit," a European official, who asked not to be named because the discussions were private, told journalists on Thursday morning in Brussels.

The same official added that there was an agreement between the three leaders (Trump, European Council President Donald Tusk and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker) to step up the fight against the self-proclaimed Islamic State. A spokesperson for the U.S. president wasn't immediately available for comment for when contacted by CNBC.

'Cordial and friendly discussion'

The comments came as the U.S. president was visiting the Belgium capital. Trump's protectionist approach has previously diminished European efforts to reach a trade deal with the U.S.

Trump may be tough talking - but still spending big on NATO
Trump may be tough talking - but still spending big on NATO

Though the positions between the EU and the U.S. have not changed with Trump's first visit to Brussels, the European Commission has pressured Trump to increase cooperation in this area.

"It was a good, cordial and friendly discussion," a spokesperson from the European Commission told CNBC on Thursday regarding Trump's meeting with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and European Council President Donald Tusk.

The 45-minute meeting was a "first opportunity to get to know each other," the spokesperson said.

"President Juncker insisted on intensifying trade cooperation which is a win-win situation for both sides. In this context, it was agreed to start on a joint action plan on trade," the spokesperson added.

Meanwhile, European Council President Donald Tusk said Thursday the European Union and the United States do not see relations with Russia in the same way. The former Polish prime minister received the U.S. president for the first time in Brussels. They found common ground on security and terrorism matters, but a gap remained when it came to relations with Russia, climate change, and trade, Tusk said.

UK-US fallout on Manchester leaks likely to be mentioned to Trump
UK-US fallout on Manchester leaks likely to be mentioned to Trump

"My feeling is that we agreed on many areas. First and foremost on counter-terrorism and I am sure I don't have to explain why, but some issues remain open, like climate and trade," Tusk, who represents the 28 leaders of the EU, said.

"And I'm not 100 percent sure that we can say today -- we means President Trump and myself -- that we have a common position, a common opinion about Russia although when it comes to the conflict in Ukraine it seems that we were on the same line," he added.

The U.S. has seemingly taken a more friendly approach to Russia since Trump took office. The opposite seems to have happened towards Europe.

President Trump supported the U.K.'s decision to leave the European Union, while also stating that other countries should do the same. He has also dubbed NATO as obsolete, though he softened his stance towards the defense alliance recently, and criticized German Chancellor Angela Merkel for her open door immigration policy.

At the same time, Trump has said he wants to "make good deals" with Russia in order to reduce current international sanctions on the latter for its annexation of Crimea.

The EU, in particular, its foreign affairs and security chief Federica Mogherini, has been a strong critic of Russia's activities in Ukraine.

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