President Donald Trump and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker have signaled that they are working out a trade deal which will emphasize eliminating tariffs, barriers, and subsidies and focus on increasing trade, according to NPR.
In an impromptu, unscheduled joint announcement made from the White House Rose Garden, President Trump and President Juncker stood side by side at their respective podiums to announce a halt to the incipient trade war, in a move that seems intended to signal economic prosperity for American farmers concerned with their crops.
In addition to the stoppage of new tariffs between the United States and the European Union, the EU leadership has indicated that they will be buying a very large amount of the American soybean crop, and will become a “massive buyer” of United States derived liquefied gas, according to President Trump’s statements.
Trump’s comments included these remarks:
“We agreed today, first of all, to work together towards zero tariffs, zero non-tariff barriers, and zero subsidies on non-auto industrial goods. [Applause] Thank you. We will also work to reduce barriers and increase trade in services, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, medical products — as well as soybeans… The European Union is going to start, almost immediately, to buy a lot of soybeans, a tremendous market… from our farmers — in the mid-west primarily. So, I thank you for that Jean-Claude. This will open markets for farmers, and workers, increase investment, and lead to greater prosperity in both the United States and the European Union. It will also make trade fairer, and more reciprocal. My favorite word. Reciprocal.”
CNN reportage on the meeting between Trump and the EU President suggests that what began as a rather chilly promise of trade war and tariff exchanges, has instead warmed into something of a friendly interaction with a focus on the international economic file. Trump himself was very optimistic in regard to the result of the deal being struck.
Trump stated that both parties had agreed to halt all tariffs between the trading nations for now. The deal includes tariffs which had previously been thought by many to have been a potential impetus for a broader trade war. Trump indicated this is no longer the case, saying that Europe would bring trade into a greater balance by becoming a broad buyer of American products and energy supplies.
“We will not go against the spirit of this agreement unless either party terminates the negotiation,” Trump said. “So, we’re starting the negotiation right now but we know very much where it’s going.”
Juncker concurred with Trump’s assessment, reiterating the primary fact that both sides had agreed to “hold off on other tariffs” while their negotiations proceed in greater depth and detail. Both men seemed to have a genial disposition towards one another both in their public remarks as well as their more private meetings held within the White House earlier, according to NPR.