EU Announce a Truce in Trade War

US admits damage by trade war, to give $12-B aid to farmers

Trump greets EU chief, says US seeks 'level playing field' on trade

U.S. Department of Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross discusses President Trump's successful meeting with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker over trade.

The U.S. and European Union will "hold off on other tariffs" while negotiations proceed, as well as re-examine U.S. steel and aluminum tariffs and retaliatory duties imposed by the European Union "in due course", Juncker said in remarks to reporters after the much-heralded meeting.

He said Europe has agreed to increase purchases of U.S. liquefied natural gas and lower trade barriers to American soybeans, american farmers and the energy sector. "And the European Union is going to start, nearly immediately, to buy a lot of soybeans", Mr Trump told reporters after the meeting.

"For years, the USA has been losing hundreds of billions of dollars in trade with the European Union, and we just want it to be a level playing field for our farmers, for our manufacturers, for everybody and we also want a big beneficiary, frankly, to be the European Union and we think it can be good for everybody and that's why we are here to discuss", he said, sat alongside Juncker in the White House.

Trade analysts responded with cautious positivity, though they noted the lack of details and Trump's unpredictability. "I had one intention today, to make a deal, and we made a deal".

Top Brussels official Jean-Claude Juncker, known for his somewhat eccentric behavior, has given Donald Trump an unusual gift - a photo of a cemetery.


But Juncker said they had agreed not to impose any new tariffs while talks were taking place.

"TTIP was way too wide, and negotiations were stuck, as Americans were not keen to discuss greater access to their public procurements, while Europeans were reluctant on the US importing more agricultural products", said a European Commission official.

In other words, Tuesday's deal was not a sign that Trump's tariffs are not forcing foreign officials to accept more global free trade-as the administration's defenders continue to claim.

At the very least, the show of comity between the European Union and US governments should calm markets and perhaps reassure other sectors of the economy that are under the gun as a result of more tariffs planned by the administration. He added that they would try to "resolve" steel and aluminium tariffs he imposed earlier this year and retaliatory duties the European Union levied in response.

The National Farmers Union estimates that the tariffs foreign countries have placed on American farm products - in retaliation against Trump's various tariffs - have already cost USA agricultural interests $13 billion.

The nonprofit group, which is backed by the American Farm Bureau Federation and major commodity groups like the National Pork Producers Council, is investing $2.5 million in the four-month campaign aimed at showcasing how the tariffs are causing pain among US farmers and manufacturers because of Trump's trade policies. Those affected economies have in turn targeted US agricultural products, including soybeans, dairy, meat, produce and liquor.


It was not clear whether the two sides made any progress on the contentious issue of possible USA tariffs on imports of automobiles from Europe.

He added that there would be an increase on trade in services and agriculture.

Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, said what farmers in his home state need "and this might be helpful in this direction- is they got to know that this thing isn't going to go on forever". "And we should do that even in more hard times", he stressed hinting at the strained relations between Washington and its transatlantic allies.

Mr Trump on Tuesday crowed that it was his tough stance and threats of auto tariffs that brought the European leader to the bargaining table.

He has also threatened to slap tariffs on imported cars, trucks and auto parts, potentially targeting imports that a year ago totalled £254 billion.


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