Does Trump want to strike trade deal with EU's Juncker?

26 July, 2018, 13:32 | Author: Lora Ball
  • AP  Jae C. Hong

Declaring a "new phase" in relations, Mr Trump said the U.S. and European Union agreed to "work together toward zero tariffs" on non-auto industrial goods, while the European Union would import more American natural gas and soybeans.

Farmers in the United States have been adversely impacted after the Trump administration imposed tariffs on aluminium and steel imports, triggering a trade war with several countries including China, which has announced retaliatory measures against American goods.

"This is a short-term solution to allow President Trump time to work on long-term trade deals to benefit agriculture and the entire U.S. economy", Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said.

They also agreed to increase trade in services and agriculture, including greater USA soy bean exports to the EU.

"We agreed today, to work together toward zero tariffs, zero non-tariff barriers, and zero subsidies on non-auto industrial goods", he went on.

The aid is meant to protect the industry as countries raise taxes on U.S. products such as soybeans in response to the president's new tariffs.

Trump is facing calls from his own party to back down on the tariffs, particularly after the administration announced Tuesday that it will grant up to $12 billion in aid to farmers hurt by retaliatory tariffs.

President Donald Trump says he'll propose to European officials on Wednesday that both sides drop all tariffs, barriers and subsidies.

"It is clear to everyone that President Trump has gotten China's attention like never before", Perdue said.

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Tuesday evening, hours before the meeting was to take place, Trump tweeted that he hoped the USA and the European Union could agree to "drop all Tariffs, Barriers and Subsidies".

To help alleviate the unfortunate consequences on American farmers, the Department of Agriculture has announced its billion dollar band-aid. "As we break our trade agreements with Canada and Mexico in particular, where are we going to go with excess product that we produce", said Danielson.

But with Trump expecting Juncker to come to Washington with a "significant" offer - and Brussels saying that won't happen - the outcome of this meeting is too tricky to call. It also will provide funds to outside organizations to build overseas markets for US food and ag exports.

Juncker said the two sides will not impose any new tariffs as the talks are ongoing. "A breakthrough on NAFTA would be preferable", said Senate Agriculture chairman Pat Roberts earlier on Tuesday when rumors of the package began to circulate.

"I think we have to talk each to another and not at another and that's what we do today", he said, before saying he hopes they could focus on reducing, not increasing, tariffs.

U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross told FOX Business' Lou Dobbs that the Trump administration won't carry out its threat to impose auto tariffs while trade negotiations with the European Union are ongoing.

There has already been considerable realignment in the soybean markets, as China - the largest importer of soybeans - buys up more of the goods from places such as Brazil, analysts said.

The Agriculture Department said it would tap an existing program to provide $12 billion in direct payments to farmers and ranchers hurt by foreign retaliation to Trump's tariffs and other assistance, such as the purchase of excess crops.

Beijing cancelled orders for American crops in an intensifying trade war with the US.

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