Friend or foe? Trump meets EU's Juncker amid trade war

Trump offers help to farmers hit by escalating China trade war

Trump offers help to farmers hit by escalating China trade war

Following talks with European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker at the White House, Mr Trump said the USA and EU have agreed to work to resolve their current dispute.

President Trump and European Commission President Juncker held a news conference Wednesday afternoon.

Furthermore, the vows Trump and Juncker made to work toward zero tariffs and zero subsidies on industrial goods a lot like the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, a deal negotiated by the Obama Administration that Trump had previously pushed aside.

"We should talk about reducing tariffs instead of increasing them", Juncker said, as Trump nodded.

Reuters reported Wednesday that European Union trade commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom said her office is drawing up a $20 billion list of usa goods to hit with retaliatory tariffs should the administration implement that threat.

Though details remain sketchy, it seems too soon to call this a truce in the trade war-more like an agreement to stop further escalations of the conflict, at least for now, in the hopes that a truce can be worked out.

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 U.S. tariffs on steel, aluminium, and tens of billions of dollars in products from China put in place in recent weeks.

Meanwhile, China's President Xi Jinping on Wednesday said that there would be "no winner" in any global trade war, in a direct warning to Mr. Trump.

Trump warned at a cabinet meeting last week that he would move forward with 25 per cent auto tariffs if the meeting with Juncker didn't go well. He has also threatened to slap tariffs on imported cars, trucks and auto parts, potentially targeting imports that previous year totalled US$335 billion.

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

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On another front, Mr. Trump's administration has hit even its close allies the European Union (EU), Canada and Mexico, with levies on steel and aluminium exports to the United States, prompting retaliation against iconic USA products, including bourbon whiskey and orange juice.

Texas alone has billions of dollars in exports covered by payback tariffs, with a large chunk of that retaliation coming on critical crops like cotton, grain sorghum and soybeans.

Canada, Mexico and China - the main target of Trump's trade offensive - also hit back with steep duties on United States goods, and have filed complaints against Washington at the WTO.

The question now is whether the agricultural aid will win over voters ahead of the mid-terms; it certainly hasn't pleased the high priests of free trade within the Republican Party. Soybean farmers in IL tell me that since the start of the president's trade war, they've seen their crop value drop by 20 per cent. In a tweet late Tuesday, Trump said both the United States and the European Union should drop all tariffs, barriers and subsidies.

In a Tuesday morning tweet, he called tariffs "the greatest", saying every United States trade partner should either negotiate a "fair deal, or it gets hit with Tariffs".

On a call explaining the assistance, the administration said the $12 billion value of the package was in line with the estimated $11 billion hit to farmers from recent trade tensions.

Responding to farm groups and Republican criticism on Capitol Hill, the administration has been working for months on a plan to shore up slipping prices for soybeans, pork and other crops hit with retaliatory tariffs from China.

Juncker, meanwhile, urged the president to work together on the issue of trade, saying the two leaders "have to talk to one another not at one another". The president has said trade will be central to that discussion.

The trade deficit means USA consumers bought more from Europe than vice versa.

"The aim is to figure out what the ask is, we don't yet have a clear picture of what the administration wants", the official said.

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