White House to showcase USA products as trade battles loom

Trump says ‘drop all tariffs’ with European Union — hours after tweeting ‘tariffs are the greatest’

US President Donald Trump and the EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker have agreed to "work together towards zero tariffs" - which the two leaders called "a new chapter" in cross-Atlantic relations.

The Trump administration has threatened new tariffs, and the president is reportedly considering up to a 25 percent tariff on automobile imports - one that could spark more retaliation and affect already hard-hit communities in auto manufacturing hubs like Michigan, Ohio and Kentucky.

John Thune, a South Dakota GOP senator who is generally more Trump-friendly, told reporters at the Capitol that the $12 billion Band-aid is an 'acknowledgement that it has a lot of unintended consequences and creates a lot of collateral damage'.

The United States has been looking to support farmers hurt by the tariffs imposed on US products and this week announced a $12 billion support package.

Among US products President Donald Trump will showcase is the Lockheed Martin Corp F-35 fighter at the White House lawn on July 23, 2018.

DBV, an association of German farmers, said it welcomed de-escalation in the trade dispute but did not expect changes in soybean trade. The EU charges a 10 percent tariff on imports of USA automobiles, and the United States has a 2.5 percent tariff on European cars.

"While we are working on this, we will not go against the spirit of this agreement unless either party terminates the negotiation", he said in a joint press conference with Juncker.

"We're starting the negotiation right now but we know very much where it's going", the president said.

The EU, China, and Canada have hit billions of United States goods with tariffs in response, causing the White House on Tuesday to propose $12 billion in emergency aid to farmers hurt by such retaliatory measures. It already has duty-free access to the European Union market for soyabeans, with the only significant barrier to trade being the fact that some of the GM soya varieties produced in the United States are not (yet) authorised by the EU.

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They warned that new duties would be harmful to United States businesses, especially those that rely heavily on products that only China can provide, with one witness decrying the "blunt instrument of tariffs".

Donald Trump heard an earful on Tuesday from senators in his own party after his administration pledged to provide up to $12 billion in aid for USA farmers to shield them from the effects of trade disputes cultivated by the White House itself.

President Trump welcomes Jean-Claude Juncker, president of the European Commission to the White House to discuss trade.

Trump has already put taxes on imported steel and aluminum, saying they pose a threat to US national security, an argument that enrages staunch USA allies such as the European Union and Canada.

Still, the deal announced Wednesday with the European Union is an encouraging sign that America's trade partners may be able to placate the Trump administration with offers to buy more US goods, averting a trade war that the International Monetary Fund has warned may undermine the strongest global upswing in years.

"We tried earlier in the framework of negotiations on the Transatlantic trade and investment partnership (TTIP) to get the USA to weaken these laws".

Critics said Trump's aggressive approach makes it tough for other countries to offer concessions, lest they be seen by their own people as caving in to bullying. Trump could impose vehicle tariffs on national security grounds once Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross completes a required investigation, which could come anytime before a deadline by early next year.

"I'm glad. I think it's going to help defuse some of the concern out there, not only in farm country but in our economy generally", Portman said.

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