Trump and EU strike a trade deal

The Trump administration and European Union agreed Wednesday to work toward eliminating tariffs and subsidies and try to avert a much-feared trade war.
By Rick Docksai | Dec 13, 2018
President Trump extracted significant trade concessions from the European Union in a meeting Wednesday with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker. Juncker joined with Trump in the White House's Rose Garden to announce a newly reached agreement to work toward eliminating tariffs and subsidies and in the process prevent what many economists were calling an escalating US-European trade war.

"When I was invited by the president to the White House, I had one intention: I had the intention to make a deal today. And we made a deal today," Juncker said.

The EU agreed to up its imports of U.S. soybeans and liquified natural gas, work more closely with the United States on regulations and energy policy, and lower all tariffs, with an end goal of bringing them down gradually to zero. It also pledged to remove subsidies for any non-agricultural products.

All of these were policies that Trump had been demanding. He hailed the agreement as a "new phase" in the US-EU partnership.

Trump backed off on recent threats to impose new tariffs of up to 25% on foreign automobiles and auto parts. He had previously warned that he would enact these tariffs unless the EU rescinds its existing 10% import duty on imported carsthe United States, by comparison, charges only a 2.5% duty on cars made overseas.

Trump's iron and aluminum tariffs remain in place, and so do the retaliatory tariffs that EU leaders imposed months ago on many U.S. goods. But Juncker said Wednesday that both sides "will hold off" on enacting more tariffs while negotiations get under way.



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