Published: Thu, July 26, 2018
Money | By Michele Stevens

Trump greets European Union chief, says United States seeks 'level playing field' on trade

Trump greets European Union chief, says United States seeks 'level playing field' on trade

After a meeting at the White House, Trump and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said the talks would also seek to "resolve" U.S. tariffs on steel and aluminum and Europe's retaliatory duties - marking a step back from Trump's signature import protections for American metals producers.

The two sides agreed to expand European imports of USA liquified natural gas and soybeans and lower industrial tariffs on both sides, Mr Trump said. The president had threatened to impose tariffs as high as 25 percent on European autos imported in the USA which brought a EU promise of retaliation.

He hailed "a new phase" of trade relations. He said the two leaders were working towards a goal of "zero tariffs, zero barriers, and zero subsidies on non-auto industrial goods".

The pair - who met for more than two hours of talks at the White House - also said they would work to "resolve" the existing duties on steel and aluminum imposed by Washington, which had angered key allies including the European Union.

The EU in particular has responded with retaliatory tariffs on a wide range of USA products, including bourbon, blue jeans, cigarettes, and motorcycles. China made $517 Billion on us previous year, ' the president added.

Trump did not specifically reference the plan during a speech to veterans in Kansas City, but asked for patience as he attempts to renegotiate trade agreements that he said have hurt American workers.

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The company may have halted more ad purchases than expected as it applied a broad definition of what's considered "political". But revenue - up 42 percent to $13.23 billion- was slightly below the $13.34 that Wall Street was expecting.

While the U.S. president can claim his aggressive approach is working, consumers, farmers and businesses are feeling the pain from the retaliatory measures imposed to counter the raft of USA tariffs on steel, aluminum, and tens of billions of dollars in products from China put in place in recent weeks.

Trump's threat to impose tariffs on auto imports would hit European carmakers BMW (BMWG.DE) Daimler (DAIGn.DE) and Volkswagen (VOWG_p.DE) hard, as well as Japanese and South Korean vehicle companies. He says there are many unanswered questions for farmers when it comes to tariffs.

Northeast Wisconsin farmers will soon see part of $12 billion worth of tariff relief, in response to trade issues with countries like China. But Trump tweeted Wednesday urged concerned parties to "be cool".

However, some farm-state Republicans quickly dismissed the plan, declaring Tuesday that farmers want markets for their crops, not payoffs for lost sales and lower prices.

The Agriculture Department predicted before the trade fights that USA farm income would drop this year to $60 billion, or half the $120 billion of five years ago.

The biggest news from the Trump-Juncker meeting is that it appears to have delayed an impending trade war over autos. And he's doing it despite his advisors honking their horns and waving their arms as Trump gets closer toward driving the USA economy over a cliff.

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Trump jolted markets once again early Friday when he said he's prepared to impose penalties on some $500 billion in Chinese goods regardless of the consequences that might ensue, economic or political.

And on Tuesday, Trump announced plans to impose 10 percent tariffs on an additional $200 billion in Chinese imports by the end of August.

Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pa., said the Agriculture Department was "trying to put a Band-aid on a self-inflicted wound".

"As long as we are negotiating, unless one party will stop the negotiations, we hold off further tariffs", Juncker said. They also announced the European Union would begin purchasing more American liquified natural gas - a direct shot across the bow of Russian Federation - and soybeans.

Fourthly, we agreed today to join forces to protect American and European companies better from unfair global trade practices.

European Union representatives told me that they would start buying soybeans from our great farmers immediately. "This announcement is substantial but we can not overstate the dire consequences that farmers and ranchers are facing in relation to lost export markets".

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