U.S. wants a fair trade deal, Trump tells European Union leaders

Trump says ‘drop all tariffs’ with European Union — hours after tweeting ‘tariffs are the greatest’

President Donald Trump on Wednesday said he struck a preliminary deal with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker to ease trade tensions and avoid a full-blown trade war with the European Union.

Trump has placed tariffs on imported steel and aluminum, saying they pose a threat to US national security, an argument that allies such as the European Union and Canada reject.

Trump has taken aggressive action on trade, slapping tariffs on steel and aluminum imports.

He's threatening to use the national security justification again to slap tariffs on imported cars, trucks and auto parts, potentially targeting imports that previous year totaled $335 billion.

A senior European official said Juncker will meet with Trump on Wednesday equipped with offers to de-escalate the trade war, while convincing him to hold off on vehicle tariffs.

"In regards to agricultural trade we see especially in soybeans no negotiating leeway for a trade-political agreement as oilseed imports from the United States are already free from customs restrictions", DBV president Joachim Rukwied said. Trump and Juncker said they have agreed to work toward "zero tariffs" and "zero subsidies" on non-automotive goods.

After Trump announced plans to impose $50 billion in tariffs on Chinese imports, Beijing retaliated with plans to impose tariffs on a range of agricultural products from the USA including soybeans, grains, meats and dairy products. "This trade war is cutting the legs out from under farmers and White House's "plan" is to spend $12 billion on gold crutches". Mr. Trump imposed a 25-percent tariff on steel and a 10-percent tariff on aluminum imported from the European Union in June, and the EU retaliated with "rebalancing" tariffs on US steel, agriculture and other products soon after.

"Either a country which has treated the United States unfairly on Trade negotiates a fair deal, or it gets hit with Tariffs", Mr. Trump wrote.

The aid programs include payments to producers of soybeans, sorghum, corn, wheat, cotton, dairy and hogs, along with purchases of unexpected commodity surpluses and efforts to develop new export markets, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said.

The outcome seemed a victory for Trump, who had assured supporters that his confrontational trade strategy would bear fruit, and who appears to have conceded little in the talks with the EU.

While Republicans in Congress refrained from directly criticizing Trump, GOP leaders and rank-and-file members advocated against tariffs and trade feuds that result from them.

"We have never compensated farmers directly on such a large scale for retaliatory tariffs", Irwin said.

The tariffs came in response to $34 billion worth of duties the Trump administration placed on Chinese products.

"We are ready to invest in infrastructure and new terminals, which could welcome imports of energy from the United States and elsewhere, but mainly from the United States, if the conditions were right and prices competitive", he said in a speech after the White House meetings. The EU has a huge stake in the US industry, where European companies produce nearly 3 million cars a year, accounting for over a quarter of production in the United States. In a surprise move, Trump said the US and European Union will work together to "address unfair trading practices", including forced technology transfer, intellectual property theft, and overcapacity. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce estimates those farmers will lose an estimated $12 billion from trade with China alone. "I'm pleased that certain aspects of his policies have a positive effect but there also have been a lot of negative effects", Hoyer, D-Md., said. "They did not move a millimetre".

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