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US touts EU trade truce, attention now turns to China

28 July 2018

He said Trump was committed to getting zero tariffs from the European Union.

The White House painted the agreement as a vindication of the U.S. president's bare-knuckle tactics, which Trump has deployed even against allies.

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

"European Union Nations will be open to the United States and at the same time benefiting by everything we are doing for them", Trump added.

"The first issue that we'll begin negotiating is... the issue on the steel and aluminium tariffs and retaliatory tariffs", Mnuchin said on CNBC.

Discussions will include topics such as the United States steel and aluminum tariffs and European Union retaliatory tariffs.

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Brussels had hit back at the U.S. over the metals tariffs by imposing duties on more than $3 billion of United States goods, including blue jeans, bourbon and motorcycles, as well as orange juice, rice and corn. "So I would expect, if these tariffs get to that point, we're not done with the agricultural tariffs".

The U.S. earlier this month imposed 25% tariffs on $34 billion worth of Chinese products, drawing a tit-for-tat response from Beijing which targeted politically sensitive U.S. agricultural products.

No announcement was made on auto tariffs, and it was not clear whether any progress had been made on resolving the issue.

The US declared a resounding victory for Trump and his confrontational stance, as Washington appears to have conceded little in exchange. Because Trump believes that tariffs on foreign imports will boost American industry and stabilize jobs in agriculture, steel and auto manufacturing. Just when Trump "rages against reality" by demanding that his family, let alone his staff, adhere to the rule that Fox is the only source of approved news, the farmers are bringing their inescapable truth directly to the president where he lives.

But the two world leaders agreed to strike a deal Wednesday and stop the brewing trade war.

EU officials said little had been given away by Juncker and that Europe had emerged as the victor by getting Trump to defer the threatened vehicle tariffs which would have hit European carmakers hard.

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In a news conference on Wednesday, the President said the EU has agreed to buy "a lot of soybeans" and increase imports of natural gas from the U.S. European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker says the two countries have agreed to hold off on implementing any more tariffs while they work to avoid a crippling trade dispute. Among those goods are corn and - most notably - soybeans, Indiana's top ag export.

He again singled out China for what he said was an attack on the United States farm belt. Additionally, as Heather Long and Steven Mufson note in The Washington Post, it's way too soon to declare the U.S. -E.U. trade war over.

Germany unsurprisingly hailed the decision, given that their world dominating auto industry was the first in line to be punished by Trump's protectionist offensive.

But French President Emmanuel Macron expressed skepticism, saying a good trade negotiation "can only be done on a balanced, reciprocal basis, and in no case under any sort of threat".

President Donald Trump proved himself once again as a "man of action" in a "town of talk" by gaining major trade concessions on Wednesday with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, according to Kellyanne Conway.

United States stocks shot to their highs of the day, with the benchmark S&P 500 Index rising by the most in almost two months to close the day within 1pc of an all-time high. Auto tariffs at that level would add about €10,000 (RM47,600) to the sticker price of a European-built vehicle sold in the United States, according a European Commission assessment obtained by Bloomberg News last month.

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US touts EU trade truce, attention now turns to China