Trade War Between US and EU Averted (For Now)

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Posted: Jul 26, 2018 8:45 AM
Trade War Between US and EU Averted (For Now)

President Trump scored major trade concessions from the European Union officials on Wednesday, calling it a “very big day for free and fair trade.”

The president and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said they launched a “new phase” in their relationship and vowed to begin negotiations on a number of key areas immediately.

“We agreed today, first of all, to work together towards zero tariffs, zero non-tariff barriers and zero subsidies for the non-auto industrial goods," Trump said during a joint appearance in the White House Rose Garden with Juncker. 

The leaders also agreed that as long as negotiations were ongoing, "we'll hold off further tariffs and reassess existing tariffs on steel and aluminum," Juncker said. "This was a good, constructive meeting.”

The package of measures announced by Messrs. Trump and Juncker would have the EU buying more liquefied natural gas and soybeans from the U.S., and the two sides would begin a “dialogue to reduce differences on regulatory standards between the two economies,” Mr. Trump said. […]

Through the deal, the Trump administration seeks to reduce trade barriers to lower the $152 billion U.S. deficit in merchandise trade with the EU, while European counterparts want an end to repeated threats of new tariffs and other measures to restrict access to the U.S. market. (WSJ)

Trump also took to Twitter to comment on the meeting. 

“Great meeting on Trade today with @JunckerEU and representatives of the European Union. We have come to a very strong understanding and are all believers in no tariffs, no barriers and no subsidies. Work on documents has already started and the process is moving along quickly. European Union Nations will be open to the United States and at the same time benefiting by everything we are doing for them. There was great warmth and feeling in the room - a breakthrough has been quickly made that nobody thought possible!”

Earlier this month the president labeled the European Union as a “foe” over their trade practices with the U.S., but added that “that doesn't mean they are bad. It doesn't mean anything. It means that they are competitive.” 

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It appears he sought to address that comment in a photo he tweeted of the two men hugging each other, writing, “Obviously the European Union, as represented by @JunckerEU and the United States, as represented by yours truly, love each other!”