United States and European Union agree to ease tensions over trade disagreements


U.S. Department of Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross discusses President Trump's successful meeting with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker over trade.

Both sides agreed to work toward the goal of "zero" tariffs and subsidies on non-auto industrial goods and to "resolve" recent tariffs that both sides have imposed.

China has announced retaliatory tariffs on various USA agricultural products, including soybeans, grains, meats and dairy products, as a response to Trump's plan to impose $50 billion in tariffs on Chinese imports.

Trump said the U.S. and European Union will set up an executive working group to work on trade and assess existing tariffs "to the betterment of both".

"I had intention to make a deal today and we made a deal today", Trump said.

We have identified a number of areas on which to work together, work towards zero tariffs on industrial goods.

German Economy Minister Peter Altmaier hailed the deal as a breakthrough, saying the measures agreed by Trump and Juncker could help avoid a trade war and save millions of jobs.

More details to come. As the dispute escalates, China and other importers have slapped tariffs on incoming shipments of USA soybeans, dairy, meat, produce and liquor. "China made $517 Billion on us a year ago", he continued.

Earlier in an Oval Office photo op, Juncker said the US and European Union were "allies, not enemies", a rebuff of Trump's recent comments, in which he labeled the European Union a "foe".

The two sides agreed to agree in the near future on the tariff question.

More news: German industry warns USA auto tariffs not completely off table yet

China, the EU, Canada and Mexico have all filed disputes against the United States in the World Trade Organization, which could authorize the retaliation if it decides the tariffs imposed by Washington were unjustified of violated global trade rules.

Canada, Mexico and China - the main target of Mr Trump's trade offensive - also have hit back with steep duties on United States goods, and have filed complaints against Washington at the World Trade Organisation.

On March 1, Trump announced that the USA would be imposing a 25 percent tariff on steel imports and a 10 percent tariff on all aluminum imports.

First, there was the attempt to buy farmers' support, with the White House announcing that it would spend $12 billion through a New Deal-era crop insurance program to bail out farms harmed by tariffs.

The United States exported $138 billion in agriculture products in 2017, including $21.5 billion of soybeans which were the most valuable US export.

"I think it's a sign of progress", corn and soybean farmer Mark Recker of Arlington, Iowa, said of the president's announcement on European Union talks.

The euro, which initially received the U.S. -EU trade news warmly, sharply lost ground after European Central Bank boss Mario Draghi reaffirmed a commitment to keep interest rates on hold "through" next summer, even though he saw inflation picking up by the end of the year. "And we should do that even in more hard times", he stressed hinting at the strained relations between Washington and its transatlantic allies.

Juncker said that he had gone into his Oval Office meeting with Trump with both parties intending to reach an agreement.

Hours later, he and Juncker came out to the White House Rose Garden for an impromtu press conference - aides were still setting things up when reporters were summoned for a almost hourlong wait - to announce what amounted to a trade relations peace pact between the United States and Europe.