Published: Thu, July 26, 2018
Markets | By Josh Butler

Republicans visiting White House surprised by European Union trade announcement

Republicans visiting White House surprised by European Union trade announcement

U.S. President Donald Trump and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker (L) deliver a joint statement Wednesday in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, DC.

Against the backdrop of this fresh start, both sides agreed to resume trade talks "to work together toward zero tariffs, zero non-tariff barriers, and zero subsidies on non-auto industrial goods", Trump said.

President Donald Trump proclaimed that "Tariffs are the greatest!" in warning US trade partners that he'll impose more sanctions unless they negotiate a "fair deal" as negotiations with European officials are to get underway at the White House.

The meeting comes at a critical time for the trade relationship between the European Union and the U.S. After the 10 percent tariff on aluminum and 25 percent on steel, The Washington Post reported that Trump is considering slapping a 25 percent tariff on automobiles, an idea that has drawn fierce criticism from European Union officials - from where many U.S. auto imports originate.

"I came to make a deal, and we made a deal today", Juncker said on Wednesday at the White House.

He also said they would "resolve the steel and aluminium tariffs", while Mr Juncker said the sides would hold off on any new tariffs while talks proceed.

Trump said he and his European Union counterpart agreed to "work together toward" bringing tariffs, other trade barriers and subsidies on non-automobile subsidies down to zero.

Some of fruits to be hardest hit by the trade policies are cherries - which are now facing a 50% tariff going into China - and apples, which have been hit by higher tariffs in China and Mexico, with India set to also implement additional duties next month in response to US duties on steel and aluminium imports.

Nationally, corn, soybean and pork producers have felt the harshest impact of the tariffs.

Trump has so far suffered little political blowback for his tariffs and trade threats, saying that he is simply following through on promises he made during the campaign to crack down on trading partners, even close allies, and put America first.

Mary Lovely, a Syracuse University economist who studies trade, said, "The Chinese are not going to be buying our soybeans, so nearly by musical chairs our soybeans are going to Europe".

G20 ministers call for greater dialogue on trade tensions
G20 ministers call for greater dialogue on trade tensions

This as Trump threatens to extend tariffs to European cars.

This comes as President Donald Trump appears at the Veterans of Foreign Wars national convention in Kansas City in the heart of the nation's farm country.

Through a series of aggressive tariff announcements, the president is fomenting a series of spats with China, the European Union, Canada and other trading partners.

Many US farm states vote Republican, but Republican candidates in looming congressional elections are anxious about their electoral chances, so the Trump administration has offered farmers a package worth nearly $NZ18 billion.

The tariff could seriously damage the USA economy, say business executives and GOP leadership, as well as lead to revolts within the Republican party itself. 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. For example, the EU's interest in importing more liquefied natural gas (LNG) from the United States to diversify its energy supply.

"Everything is more or less OK", he said at the CSIS, a United States think tank.

The Trump administration said it would use a Great Depression-era program to pay up to $12 billion to help USA farmers.

"We are just kind of being played", said Tom Giessel, who was cultivating his fields when he stopped his tractor to take a cell phone call from a reporter seeking his reaction to the plan.

Ryan added that while Trump is seeking "a better deal for Americans, better trade agreements - I just don't think tariffs are the way to go, and our members are making that pretty clear".

The Agriculture Department was expected to announce the plan later Tuesday.

British and Irish ministers hold London conference
Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt has said Europe must "show much more flexibility and creativity" to avoid a "no deal by accident" situation post-Brexit.

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