US, EU launch talks to eliminate industrial duties, agree no new tariffs

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United States president Donald Trump and European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker yesterday appeared outside the White House confirming they had agreed to stave off proposed vehicle tariffs during negotiations.

The pair - who met for more than two hours of talks at the White House - also said they would work to "resolve" the existing duties on steel and aluminum imposed by Washington, which had angered key allies including the European Union.

Few things are more dramatic than a game of chicken, and in their coverage of the Donald Trump and Jean-Claude Juncker's substance-free press conference Wednesday, the news media ran with the president's characterization of their meeting, i.e. that Trump stared down Juncker and won "concessions" in a new trade "deal".

An EU official said there was significant pressure from Trump administration officials to increase EU soybean purchases as part of any trade deal.

It may also take some domestic pressure off Mr Trump, whose agricultural base is hurting from China's retaliatory tariffs following United States tariffs imposed on China.

"I've made perfectly clear that any time China is willing to seriously negotiate - and we're talking about a commitment to reduce the bilateral trade deficit as well as to deal with technology issues - we're available any time", he said.

Mr Juncker said the two sides agreed that as long as they were negotiating on trade, they would hold off on further tariffs, including on cars and auto parts.

While some experts said Europe was going to import more U.S. soybeans anyway, Trump's deal will ease some concerns about the impact of Beijing's sanctions.

Juncker came to Washington for a last-ditch bid to avoid US tariffs on cars.

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Tariffs threaten more than $3.8 billion in IL exports, according to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and major companies including Caterpillar and Boeing already have been negatively affected.

"It's an admonition that tariffs are harming agriculture and harming farmers", Young said of the aid package. USA companies earn more than twice as much exporting goods to the European Union as they do exporting to China.

He said they would submit their report on auto tariffs in August.

"The idea that imports of steel or aluminium from your closest ally could threaten the national security of this country [as Trump had claimed] - this goes against all logic and against all history", Juncker said.

Take soybeans, hailed as a headline victory for the US.

Since Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross nailed a 10 percent tariff on aluminum and 25 percent on steel, saying it would help US manufacturers, both industries have been hurt badly.

"That would finally be called free market and fair trade!" It's unlikely it could have been achieved without the negotiating leverage provided by President Trump's recent tariffs on European Union goods and threats of more to come. Likewise, many United States based companies that manufacture their goods in places like China have advocated for the Bill which will not only help their own business interests but those of USA consumers who do not want to bear the economic brunt of Trump's protectionist onslaught. One problem: Europe disagrees.

Lawmakers said they still needed to see details of the agreement with the European Union as well as progress on the other deals.

In an economically interconnected world, tariffs on a major trading partner have the capacity to hurt one's domestic industries and penalise one's domestic consumer base far more than those in the country initially targeted by tariffs, or sanctions for that matter.

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