Trade: the USA and the Eu on the path of appeasement

© Reuters. Trade: the USA and the Eu on the path of appeasement

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The u.s. president, Donald Trump, announced on Wednesday that it had agreed with the head of the eu executive, Jean-Claude Juncker, so that the two blocks work in the lowering of trade barriers.

“It is a very big day for the free and fair trade, really a great day,” he said after meeting Jean-Claude Juncker.

“The negotiations have just started, but we know very well where we are going,” he added, speaking alongside the president of the european Commission.

“We have agreed now, in the first place, to go to a removal of tariffs (customs) and of subsidies on industrial products non-automotive”

“We will also work towards the reduction of barriers and the increase of trade in services, chemistry, pharmacy, medical equipment, as well as in soy. (…)They will become big buyers of liquefied natural gas.”

The forthcoming discussions will enable us to “solve” both the question of customs duties that the United States has decided to impose on their imports of steel and aluminum, and the retaliatory measures decided on by the Union.

There was no evidence, however, to say in the immediate future if the two parties have made progress on another sticking point, that of exports to the european vehicles.

Donald Trump threatens to introduce a 25% customs duty on imports automotive, a measure that would penalize harshly of groups such as BMW (DE:BMWG) and Volkswagen (DE:VOWG_p), but also their counterparts in the japanese and south koreans.

According to a european official, the United States, however, have agreed not to introduce new customs duties on imports of cars and of heavy trucks on time that will last in the negotiations.

The outcome of the meeting was welcomed on Wednesday by the German Economy minister, Peter Altmaier, who has mentioned on Twitter (NYSE:TWTR) a “breakthrough” that is likely to avoid a trade war and preserve millions of jobs.

(Steve Holland, Nicolas Delame for the French service)

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