Europe Caves: EU Chief Pledges To Lower Trade Barriers with US

Europe Caves EU Chief Pledges To Lower Trade Barriers with US

President Donald Trump had what he described as a “very big day” in the form of trade concessions made by the European Union on Wednesday.

In a joint announcement with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker from the Rose Garden, the president said, “This was a very big day for free and fair trade, a very big day indeed.”

“We agreed today first of all to work together toward zero tariffs, zero non-tariff barriers and zero subsides for all non-auto industrial goods,” Trump stated.

“We will also work to reduce barriers and increase trade in services, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, medical products, as well as soybeans. Soybeans is a big deal.”

Soybeans are one of the products China hit with a 25 percent tariff following Trump’s announced tariffs against Beijing for unfair trade practices.

China reportedly has carefully selected its tariffs to hit Trump right in the heart of his political support base.

Trump described Wednesday’s agreement as a “new phase in the relationship between the United States and the European Union. A phase of close friendship, strong trade relations and in which both of us will win.”

Juncker agreed it was a productive day saying, “When I was invited by the president to the White House, I had one intention. I had the intention to make a deal today. And we made a deal today.”

“We have identified a number of areas on which to work together,” he added. “Work towards zero tariffs on industrial goods. And that was my main intention, to propose to come down to zero tariffs on industrial goods.”

Trump and Juncker also announced that the EU will be building new port facilities in order to import more liquified U.S. natural gas.

While in Europe earlier this month, the president made a big deal about Germany constructing a new natural gas pipeline with Russia, which he argued makes the EU’s largest economy vulnerable to the whims of Moscow.

Trump and Juncker further relayed the two sides agreed that no new tariffs would be added during negotiations, unless either the U.S. or the E.U. walks away from the table.

“We’re starting the negotiation right now, but we know very much where it’s going,” Trump said, explaining the two parties plan to “resolve” the EU’s retaliatory tariffs implemented after the U.S. imposed import taxes on European steel and aluminum.

Stocks leapt at the news that Europe agreed to trade concessions.

All the market indices rose, with the NASDAQ up over a full percentage point in value in late-day trading.

Earlier on Wednesday, Trump urged patience to his doubters, presumably on Capitol Hill, saying “snipping” at his heels only causes dealmaking to take longer.

“Negotiations are going really well, be cool,” he tweeted. “The end result will be worth it!”

The chief executive now has a good, solid piece of evidence that he just may be right.

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