Trump and European Union come to vague agreement to reduce trade tensions


"We agreed today, first of all, to work together towards zero tariffs, zero non-tariff barriers and zero subsidies for the non-auto industrial goods", Trump said during a joint appearance in the White House Rose Garden with Juncker.

Speaking with Juncker at his side, Trump said they had agreed in talks to "work together toward zero tariffs, zero non-tariff barriers, and zero subsidies on non-auto industrial goods".

Mr Trump and Mr Juncker said the talks would also seek to "resolve" United States tariffs on steel and aluminum and Europe's retaliatory duties - marking a step back from the President's signature import protections for American metals producers.

The Trump administration on Tuesday said it would provide up to US$12 billion in aid for USA farmers to shield them from the repercussions felt by trade spats between the United States and China, the European Union and others.

"I had one intention today, to make a deal, and we made a deal", Juncker said. "OK @POTUS - you created this mess with your trade war and now you are going to spend US$12 billion to placate the farmers that voted for you", she tweeted.

Both Trump and Juncker pledged to expand European imports of US -sourced liquefied natural gas (LNG) and soybeans.

Top Brussels official Jean-Claude Juncker, known for his somewhat eccentric behavior, has given Donald Trump an unusual gift - a photo of a cemetery.

Sonny Perdue, secretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, said the relief package will be financed through the USDA's Commodity Credit Corporation and thus will not require congressional approval.

The aid is meant to serve as temporary boost to farmers as the United States and China negotiate over trade issues.

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The two sides agreed to agree in the near future on the tariff question. His words suggested he was open to something resembling the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, a proposed U.S. -Europe agreement on which negotiations have stopped.

As U.S. soybean farmers have struggled against retaliatory tariffs, Juncker said the European Union "can import more soybeans from the U.S. and it will be done". Farmers in Iowa alone could lose as much as $624 million on soybean shipments to China, Donnelle Eller, an agriculture reporter with the Des Moines Register, told CBSN last month.

"We need to resolve this", said David Kelly, chief global strategist at JPMorgan Funds.

Trump had offered a similar sentiment Tuesday evening, when he suggested on Twitter the European Union and USA drop all tariffs, barriers and subsidies - although he predicted that the bloc would not be ready for such a proposal.

Administration officials said the aid will ease the pain farmers have felt as America's trading partners slapped tariffs on agricultural exports in response to the Trump administration's tariffs on steel and aluminum.

In saying the European Union would import more USA gas, Juncker was able to surprise the president, two European Union officials said, by telling him it was US bureaucracy over export licenses that was partly holding back sales.

Critics said Trump's aggressive approach makes it tough for other countries to offer concessions, lest they be seen by their own people as caving in to bullying.

Trump's event with a smorgasbord of American goods came at the start of a week in which trade discussions are expected to dominate, including talks with European officials and a trip to IL in which the President is planning to visit a community helped along by his steel tariffs. He had also threatened to slap tariffs on imported cars, trucks and auto parts, potentially targeting imports that past year totaled $335 billion.

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