US, EU reach trade pact after retaliatory tariffs

Leaders agree to work toward ‘zero tariffs, barriers and subsidies on non-auto industrial goods’, says Trump
WASHINGTON: The U.S. and the European Union have reached a new pact on trade, U.S. President Donald Trump and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker announced Wednesday.
Addressing reporters at the White House, Trump said the pair agreed to work towards “zero tariffs, zero non-tariff barriers and zero subsidies on non-auto industrial goods”.
The trading partners will also work to reduce trade barriers on services, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, medical products and soybeans.
Trump said the agreement “will also make trade fairer and more reciprocal”.
The U.S. and EU trade relationship is valued at roughly $1 trillion.
Trump imposed tariffs on steel and aluminum imports in May, citing national security concerns. The move enraged close partners including the EU, which retaliated with levies of its own on an equivalent dollar amount of U.S. goods.
Juncker said he came to Washington seeking to broker an agreement with Trump to end the tariffs, “and we made a deal today”.
“We have identified a number of areas on which to work together, work towards zero tariffs on industrial goods. That was my main intention, to propose to come down to zero tariffs on industrial goods,” he said.
Trump said the U.S. “will resolve the steel and aluminum tariff issues, and we will resolve retaliatory tariffs”.
“That will get resolved as part of what we’re doing,” he said.
In addition, Juncker said the U.S. will build additional terminals to facilitate EU imports of U.S. liquefied natural gas (LNG).
“This is also a message for others,” Juncker said, perhaps alluding to Russia.
Trump derided Germany during a NATO summit earlier this month for its reliance on Russian energy, continuing to stoke tensions with Berlin.
Trump said Wednesday the EU is going to be a “very, very big buyer” of the U.S.’s LNG, which the U.S. will make it easier for Brussels to purchase “so they’ll be able to diversify their energy supply, which they want very much to do, and we have plenty of it”.
The EU further agreed to import more soybeans from the U.S. after China, in its own trade spat with Washington, placed a 25 percent tariff on the foodstuff. –AA

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