Trump lauds relations with Italy, Rome seeks trade dialogue

Washington, Oct 16

Ties between Italy and the US "have never been so good", US President Donald Trump told his Italian counterpart Sergio Mattarella during his one-day visit to Washington on Wednesday.

"Relations between Italy and the US have never been as good as they are right now," Trump said.

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Trump and Mattarella held talks at the White House's Oval Office with reporters present.

Trump's comments came after Mattarella lauded Italy's "solid" relations with the US.

"Italy has solid ties with the US that are based on human relationships, not merely the transatlantic one," he told Trump.

Mattarella also urged dialogue on international trade.

Apparently referring to a looming trade war between the US and the European Union, he urged "a frank and constructive dialogue" in order to avoid "retaliation".

Mattarella's comments came after the World Trade Organisation this week approved US trade sanctions on up to $7.5 billion of EU goods after a ruling that European plane maker Airbus received illegal subsidies.

Trump's administration plans to impose the sanctions starting on Friday. Meanwhile the EU has already published a preliminary list of US goods that it would target with $12 billion of retaliatory levies related to the Boeing case.