Published: Thu, July 26, 2018
Business | By Pearl Harrison

European Union and USA kiss and make up on trade

European Union and USA kiss and make up on trade

In a bid to deescalate the quarrel, Mr Trump said he and Mr Juncker had agreed on Wednesday to "work together toward zero tariffs, zero non-tariff barriers, and zero subsidies" on non-car goods.

He also said they would "resolve the steel and aluminium tariffs", while Mr Juncker said the sides would hold off on any new tariffs while talks proceed.

After talks at the White House with European Union officials, Trump announced in a joint Rose Garden appearance that the delegation agreed to increase imports of soybeans and liquefied natural gas.

Earlier in the Oval Office, Juncker told Trump that the two trading partners were "allies, not enemies", and said they needed to work together to address recent frictions involving Trump's threats to impose tariffs on auto imports and European Union plans to retaliate. "We have identified a number of areas on which to work together, work towards zero tariffs on industrial goods". The two have been meeting at the White House Wednesday, amid tensions over trade.

Juncker said it was a "good, constructive meeting".

The tone between Trump and Juncker was friendly, a marked turnabout from the harsh rhetoric the European Union and US have exchanged in recent weeks.

The EU and the United States have been embroiled in a tit-for-tat trade row in the last few months after Mr Trump imposed tariffs on steel and aluminium imports.

Mr Trump has called the meeting productive. "I'm happy that we agreed to this agreement today". "Only united as Europeans do we have sufficient economic and political weight to effectively represent our interests", he said. While the U.S.'s tariffs on imports from China, the EU, Canada and Mexico have been relatively blunt, those levied in retaliation have been targeted with great precision at Trump's base, which includes the producers of products such as pork and soybeans. His words suggested he was open to something resembling the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, a proposed U.S. -Europe agreement on which negotiations have stopped.

"When they can't get that, a fair price because of the illegal tariffs, this is President Trump's way of saying, 'We're not going to let these countries bully you or me into caving in, '" says Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue.

The EU had threatened to impose retaliatory tariffs on $20 billion of USA goods if the talks failed.

On Tuesday, President Trump announced a $12 billion relief package for farmers to offset their losses brought on by new Chinese tariffs.

He's already slapped steel and aluminum tariffs on allies who in return hit back with retaliatory tariffs on United States products like bourbon, jeans and motorcycles.

"Les Danielson has been in the farming business for the last 25 years, he raises about 500 acres of crops, 200 acres of corn, 200 acres of soybeans, dairy and beef cows", he said.

The increase in tariffs not only impacts the agricultural exports but also farming resources. Farm groups welcome the aid, but they say an end to the trade disputes would be a better solution.

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