Trump and EU agree to start playing nice on tariffs

President Trump and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker on Wednesday announced that they have reached a deal to begin resolving a dispute over tariffs and avoid a trade war.

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


The EU has agreed to increase U.S. soybean imports, lower industrial tariffs with the aim of dropping them to zero and work more closely together on regulations and energy, including buying more more liquified natural gas (LNG).

Juncker said he had an “intention to make a deal today and we made a deal today. We have identified a number of areas on which to work together, work towards zero tariffs on industrial goods. That was my main intention, for those to come down to zero tariffs on industrial goods.”

As U.S. soybean farmers have struggled against retaliatory tariffs, Juncker said the EU “can import more soybeans from the U.S. and it will be done.” He said the two sides also agreed to work together to reform the World Trade Organization, which Trump has vehemently criticized as being unfair to the U.S.

Earlier in the Oval Office, Juncker told Trump that the two trading partners were “allies, not enemies” and said they needed to work together to address recent frictions involving Trump’s threats to impose tariffs on auto imports and EU plans to retaliate.

Trump has placed tariffs on imported steel and aluminum, saying they pose a threat to U.S. national security, an argument that the EU and Canada reject. He has also threatened to slap tariffs on imported cars, trucks and auto parts, potentially targeting imports that last year totaled $335 billion.

The president has repeatedly called the EU — which includes many of the U.S.’ oldest and most committed allies — an unfair trading partner and even labeled it a “foe.”

The European Union has warned that it will retaliate with tariffs on products worth $20 billion if Trump puts duties on cars and auto parts from Europe.

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