Trump, EU in talks to avoid trade war

26 July, 2018, 13:29 | Author: Salvatore Jensen
  • AP  Jae C. Hong

The deal between Trump and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker eases months of escalating tensions between the United States and Europe, pitting Washington against not only its strategic competitors like China but also historical allies in the West.

He said the EU had agreed "almost immediately" begin buying more U.S. soybeans and that the European bloc had agreed to increase LNG exports from the U.S. The EU will be a "massive buyer" of LNG, Mr. Trump said.

The U.S. and European leaders agreed to work toward "zero tariff" deal, ... following Mr. Trump's threat to slap tariffs on auto imports.

US White House spokesperson Hogan Gidley announced on Tuesday that President Trump meant to bring up at the meeting with the chief of the European Commission issues regarding bilateral trade and the fight against terrorism.

Trump has in recent months engaged in a multifront trade confrontation, imposing steep tariffs on steel, aluminum and tens of billions of dollars in Chinese goods, which sparked swift retaliation against key United States farm products like soy and pork. "We agreed today to work together towards zero tariffs, zero non-tariff barriers and zero subsidies on non-auto industrial goods".

"We will not go against the spirit of this agreement unless either party terminates this negotiation", the United States president said, adding that the next step will be to withdraw U.S. tariffs on aluminum and steel imposed in May, as well as European Union retaliatory tariffs that followed. The trouble is, China previous year imported $12.3 billion in US soybeans, the European Union just $1.6 billion.

With congressional elections coming soon, the government action underscored administration concern about damage to USA farmers from Trump's trade policies and the potential for losing House and Senate seats in the Midwest and elsewhere in November.

Kenny says the collateral damage of the Trump administration's trade war is real.

Are they pulling back from the brink of a trade war? Trump approved a 10 percent tariff on imported steel and a 25 percent tariff on imported aluminum in May. Kevin McNew, an economist at Farmers Business Network, told Business Insider that China had bought at least 2.5 million metric tons of soybeans on forward contracts he expected to be canceled following the tariff implementation.

With congressional elections coming soon, the government action underscored administration concern about damage to USA farmers from Trump's trade tariffs and the potential for losing House and Senate seats in the Midwest and elsewhere.




This comes as President Donald Trump appears at the Veterans of Foreign Wars national convention in Kansas City in the heart of the nation's farm country.

Tariffs on USA goods have impacted all sectors of the economy, according to the USDA's trade counsel to the secretary, Jason Hafemeister. It involves direct payments to farmers, the purchase of excess food and trade promotion programs to help create new export markets.

The tariff could seriously damage the US economy, say business executives and GOP leadership, as well as lead to revolts within the Republican party itself.

Trump later tweeted that work on documents was "moving along quickly", adding that the meeting with Juncker had "great warmth". If you want to scare Beijing into thinking twice about stealing IP, you'll get further faster with a joint U.S. -EU effort than by going it alone.

The deal eases tensions stoked by Trump's threat to impose new tariffs on auto imports. More than 80 witnesses are scheduled to testify during a two-day trade hearing starting in Washington Tuesday focused on products from resins and chemicals to large freight containers, electric bicycles and vaping devices.

The Trump administration said it would use a Great Depression-era program to pay up to $12 billion to help U.S. farmers.

Trump agreed: "I think if we could have no tariffs and no barriers and no subsidies, then the USA would be very pleased".

In the first acknowledgment by President Donald Trump's administration that his aggressive trade actions are hurting Americans, the government on Tuesday announced $12 billion in aid for farmers who have been the primary targets of retaliation.

"Assuming we do make a deal with the European Union, it would be logical for the European Union also to be supportive of us in the issues with China", he said.

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