North America

Trump secures concessions to avoid US-EU trade war

President Donald Trump and European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker speak in the Rose Garden following their meeting. Source: AP

US President Donald Trump and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker agreed to suspend new tariffs.

US President Donald Trump and European Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker on Wednesday have announced a series of joint steps to defuse an escalating row between the two trading blocs.

"We made a deal today," Mr Juncker told reporters, following talks with Mr Trump at the White House.

"We have identified a number of areas on which to work together."

President Donald Trumpand European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker emerge from the White House.
President Donald Trumpand European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker emerge from the White House.
AP

After emerging from the White House, he described his talk with Mr Trump as a  "good and constructive meeting".

Declaring a "new phase" in relations, Mr Trump said the US and EU agreed to "work together toward zero tariffs" on non-auto industrial goods, while the EU would import more American natural gas and soybeans.

"This was a very big day for free and fair trade, a very big day indeed," Mr Trump said.

Mr Trump has called the meeting productive.
Mr Trump has called the meeting productive.
AP

He also said they would "resolve the steel and aluminium tariffs," while Mr Juncker said the sides would hold off on any new tariffs while talks proceed.

Previously, the EU had been threatening to impose major tariffs on $US20 billion of US goods if Washington pushed ahead with trade levies on imported cars.

In announcing the EU chief's visit, the White House said in a statement on July 17 that the two men would discuss "a wide range of priorities, including foreign and security policy, counterterrorism, energy security, and economic growth".

The statement said the meeting would have a "focus on improving transatlantic trade and forging a stronger economic partnership."

Following the announcement, EU trade commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom said the Washington-Brussels relationship had "turned a page".

 

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