As U.S. China trade talks ploughed ahead, EU ministers meeting in Romania began debating on when and how to begin their own trade talks with Donald Trump.
Fully aware the U.S. president has threatened to impose punitive tariffs on EU car imports.
Diplomats say Germany, whose exports of cars and parts to the US are worth more than half the EU total, wants to press ahead, in good time.
(SOUNDBITE) (ENGLISH) GERMAN ECONOMY MINISTER, PETER ALTMAIER, SAYING: "My intention is not to rush some things through, my intention is to have a large consensus".
France, less keen, it doesn't think dealing with Trump ahead of May's European elections is a vote winner.
At stake another potential trade war if the U.S. does slap tariffs on EU car imports, the EU said on Monday.
(SOUNDBITE) (English) EU COMMISSION SPOKESMAN, MARGARITIS SCHINAS, SAYING: "The European Commission would react in a swift and adequate manner." In Washington, Chinese and U.S. ministers have been haggling over the details of a set of agreements to end their trade dispute.
Reports say talks are getting somewhere - both sides drafting language for six memorandums of understanding.
But sources said negotiators are struggling to overcome differences on language to address tough U.S. demands for structural changes in China's economy.
If no agreement is reached by the March 1st deadline, the U.S has threatened to hike U.S. tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese imports, from 10 to 25 percent.