Backing off auto tariffs, U.S. and European Union agree to more talks

Donald Trump

Donald Trump

"It's encouraging that they're talking about freer trade rather than trade barriers and an escalating tariff war", said Rufus Yerxa, president of the National Foreign Trade Council and a former United States trade official.

It was a cheery end to talks Trump himself suggested this week would be acrimonious.

As U.S. soybean farmers have struggled against retaliatory tariffs, Juncker said the European Union "can import more soybeans from the U.S. and it will be done".

Trump also said the European Union had agreed to buy "a lot of soybeans" and increase its imports of liquefied natural gas from the U.S. And the two agreed to resolve a dispute over U.S. tariffs on steel and aluminum.

"There are no subsidies, trade taxes or quotas on soybeans in the EU", Paul Donovan, global chief economist at UBS Wealth Management in London, said in a note.

European leaders are trying to talk Trump out of imposing tariffs on imported cars and auto parts, anxious it would hurt both economies.

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European Union Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker (zhahn-KLOHD' YUN'-kur) is telling President Donald Trump that the E.U. and U.S. are partners and allies, "not enemies", and must work together at the start of trade negotiations between the two major economies.

Last month, German automaker Daimler AG lowered its 2018 earnings outlook, due in part to increased import tariffs for USA vehicles in China.

Mr Juncker, after Mr Trump imposed tariffs on steel and aluminium imports, said in March that "this is basically a stupid process, the fact that we have to do this".

Trump also won a commitment from Juncker to work together to reform the World Trade Organization to address some of his complaints about China on theft of U.S. technology, the behavior of state-owned enterprises, and overcapacity in steel.

Trump has also imposed tariffs on $34 billion of Chinese imports - a figure he has threatened to raise to $500 billion - in a dispute over Beijing's aggressive drive to supplant US technological dominance.

"We want to avoid a further escalation of the trade dispute (into) a trade war", Oettinger told German broadcaster Deutschlandfunk. General Motors slashed its outlook, and shares of Ford Motor Co. and auto parts companies have fallen. The EU has been readying retaliatory taxes on US products. Not to mention the $34 billion in Chinese goods the administration has so far hit with tariffs in yet another dispute over the predatory practices China deploys in a push to challenge USA high-tech dominance.

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But an European Union official told reporters it will be up to the markets to decide whether to buy more United States goods.

It was essentially a deal to make a deal, announced in celebratory fashion during a previously unannounced appearance in the White House Rose Garden. Pat Roberts, R-Kan.

The president has ordered the U.S. Commerce Department to investigate whether auto imports pose a threat to U.S. national security that would justify tariffs or other trade restrictions.

Lindsey echoed what many ag producers across the country have said about Trump's strategy - that the president has pledged to take care of them, and they believe in him.

He has slapped taxes on imported steel and aluminium, saying they pose a threat to U.S. national security.

To the relief of many, the United States and Europe have agreed to avert a trade war over autos and to work toward removing other barriers to trade.

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The Center for Automotive Research last week estimated that the potential import taxes of 20 percent to 25 percent on autos and auto parts would raise the price of an average vehicle by $4,400. Daniel Ikenson, director of trade studies at the libertarian Cato Institute, warned that the fight could flare up again if Trump grows impatient with Europe. "They're going to be a massive buyer of LNG, so they'll be able to diversify their energy supply", Trump said of Europe.

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