Touting trade breakthrough, Trump claims EU now 'open' to US farmers

President Donald Trump and European Commission president Jean Claude Juncker in the White House Rose Garden

President Donald Trump and European Commission president Jean Claude Juncker in the White House Rose Garden

The EU and U.S. will stick with trade talks even if Donald Trump decides to maintain tariffs on steel and aluminium after promising European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker a reassessment.

Iowa is among the nation's leading producers of soybeans, and the Northeast Iowa event came on the heels of the Agriculture Department's announcement of $12 billion in temporary aid to help farmers deal with retaliatory tariffs from USA trading partners.

However, Germany's DIHK chambers of Commerce noted that US auto tariffs were not totally off the table. The company said it now sees fewer SUV sales and higher costs at its Mercedes-Benz Cars division than previously expected as a result of the tariffs, and "this effect can not be fully compensated by the reallocation of vehicles to other markets".

"Now it's about putting meat on the bones of the agreement and quickly beginning negotiations", said Bernhard Mattes, the VDA German auto association president. Using food in a trade dispute is a lose-lose.

This counters EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström's previous comments.

Earlier this week, the Minneapolis district of the Federal Reserve Bank - which includes industrial and farm states - reported that there was "growing concern" about "steep increases in aluminum and steel costs in reaction to tariff announcements".

A lot more is at stake in this game than a trophy and bragging rights.

Since taking office previous year, Trump has implemented policies to restrict what he sees as unfair competition from other countries.

But a growing number of leaders in the agriculture industry say they're seeing prices drop for their crops and seeing markets close around the world as more countries raise retaliatory tariffs.

The EU is stepping in to ease some of USA farmers' pain. For experts, questioning this support represents a threat to the system of the Common Agricultural Policy as a whole.

A senior European Union official agreed with that assessment. As part of his daftly belligerent trade wars, Trump has imposed tariffs on $34 billion of Chinese goods and warned of $200 billion more. "We have some questions that we will want to clarify in the coming days with our European partners".

"This is the principle at the heart of the European sovereignty I am calling for", he said. A source quoted by Reuters said aides also strategically put Trump's name into "as many paragraphs as we can because he keeps reading if he's mentioned".

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Potential of Cohen flipping not "boding well" for Trump Giuliani attacks Cohen over Trump Tower report: He's a "pathological liar" USA military plane leaves North Korea with remains of soldiers from Korean War MORE's aggressive strategy on trade was vindicated this week as European Commission President Jean Claude Juncker agreed to work toward the elimination of tariffs on U.S. industrial imports in return for the same treatment from the United States.

Reaction on financial markets ranged from enthusiasm on stock exchanges to scepticism among currency investors, while commodities experts said Trump's proclamation that Europe would buy "lots of" soybeans from USA farmers hit by his trade row with China was not all that it seemed. The latter was a fresh concession that would help Trump and the Republicans in the run-up to mid-term elections in November.

"This is the success of Jean-Claude Juncker and the EU", said European Parliament MP Markus Ferber of Germany's conservative Bavarian party, the CSU.

That development was significant as the USA and the European Union together count for more than 50 per cent of the global GDP.

"I don't see how the U.S. can force European clients to buy USA liquefied natural gas that is more expensive", said Matt Smith, analyst at ClipperData.

Referring to the agreement struck with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, Trump said, "you have just gotten yourself one big market".

France was not comfortable either with the comprehensive trade talks outlined after the meeting, given the failed experience of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership.

We have come to a very strong understanding and are all believers in no tariffs, no barriers and no subsidies.

Despite this broad scope, an European Union official insisted that it would not be a TTIP, because the guidelines of the past negotiations are no longer valid.

After a meeting in Washington on Wednesday, the two agreed to launch a "new phase" in relations and work towards zero tariffs.

France was one of the countries to immediately demand clarification after the talks, citing comments from Trump that the agreement would open up new markets for USA farmers.

Given Trump's records of backing out of deals and agreements, this might be easily undone.

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