Donald Trump, EU's Juncker agree to ease trade tensions

U.S. President Donald Trump meets with President of the European Commission Jean Claude Juncker in the Oval Office at the White House in Washington

U.S. President Donald Trump meets with President of the European Commission Jean Claude Juncker in the Oval Office at the White House in Washington

Trump said he and Juncker are committed to strengthening the trade relationship between Americans and Europeans and to loosening trade restrictions.

"We had a big day".

Trump said they'll work to resolve the steel and aluminum tariff issues, calling it "a new phase in the relationship" between the USA and the European Union, and "a very big day for free and fair trade". The big dispute is over cars, with Mr. Trump threatening massive tariffs on if for the European Union didn't lower high tariffs on cars.

Republicans laid into the tariffs on Tuesday amid the standoff.

"Every time I see a weak politician asking to stop Trade talks or the use of Tariffs to counter unfair Tariffs, I wonder, what can they be thinking?" he wrote. "A very big day indeed".

"We arrived there, and then we became eye candy", Senate Agriculture Committee chairman Pat Roberts, R-Ks., said of the senators joining the impromptu event. "Trade is complex and it is never as simple as the handshake in between two men", Bengoa said in an email.

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.

Schweitzer said European companies also faced other non-tariff barriers to doing business in the United States, for instance in winning government contracts, or due to the different regulations in various US states.

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.

He also flattered the USA commander-in-chief, however.

And Juncker, apparently keen to flatter Trump, was eager to play along in language that the President appreciates.

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Juncker, who had been somewhat defiant ahead of the meeting, said afterwards: "I had the intention to make a deal today. And we made a deal today", he said.

It would be huge news if the U.S. and Europe ever agreed to get to the zero tariffs, zero subsidies and zero barriers standard that both leaders proposed on Wednesday.

But it was also clear that the deal unveiled on Wednesday was a truce - rather than a peace treaty. "President Juncker is working to avert new tariffs".

Europeans noted that Trump's advisors were interested in a deal.

The late-afternoon news that the meeting had eased transatlantic trade tensions fed a powerful late rally on Wall Street.

Trump has threatened to place penalty taxes on up to $500 billion in products imported from China, a move that would dramatically ratchet up the stakes in the trade dispute involving the globe's biggest economies.

Germany's economy minister described the agreement - which means Washington will not follow through with a threat to impose tariffs on autos that would hurt the dominant German vehicle industry - as a "breakthrough" that "can avoid trade war".

The Market Facilitation program will distribute the bulk of the money to farmers and ranchers producing commodities directly impacted by the tariffs, including soybeans, sorghum, corn, wheat, cotton, and pork.

Juncker said the United States had agreed to build more LNG export terminals to increase supplies to Europe.

The publication said that - according to two people familiar with the plans - the aid would be announced by the United States Department of Agriculture and would come through direct assistance programs.

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