USA trade talk: what has been agreed to

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

In May, analysts recall, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin announced a cease-fire in a trade war with China after Beijing - like the European Union on Wednesday - had agreed to buy more USA soybeans and liquefied natural gas. We are partners and allies with common values and interests.

In what the European Union chief called a "major concession", U.S. President Donald Trump agreed on Wednesday to refrain from imposing vehicle tariffs while the two sides launch negotiations to cut other trade barriers, easing the threat of a transatlantic trade war.

In exchange, Trump said he won access for USA soybean producers, and for American natural gas.

Changes in global soybean trade prompted by China's retaliation against Trump's tariffs may be playing the most significant role.

On the NAFTA talks with Mexico and Canada, Mnuchin said he was "hopeful that we'll have an agreement in principal in the near future".

Brussels had hit back at the United States over the metals tariffs by imposing duties on more than $3 billion of U.S. goods, including blue jeans, bourbon and motorcycles, as well as orange juice, rice and corn. He has also threatened to slap tariffs on imported cars, trucks and auto parts, potentially targeting imports that a year ago totaled $335 billion.

The two sides said they would seek to resolve a dispute over steel and aluminum.

The US declared a resounding victory for Trump and his confrontational stance, as Washington appears to have conceded little in exchange. "This is a real vindication of the president's trade policy".

"This is why we agreed today, first of all, to work together toward zero tariffs, zero non-tariff barriers, and zero subsidies on non-auto industrial goods", it stated.

Gov. John Kasich (KAY'-sik) says Trump's imposition of tariffs on products from such allies as Canada under national security grounds was "completely absurd", and that now the president is resorting to "farm welfare" when US farmers want trade.

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"It's encouraging that they're talking about freer trade rather than trade barriers and an escalating tariff war", said Rufus Yerxa, president of the National Foreign Trade Council and a former USA trade official. So the Chinese are buying up all the Brazilian and Argentinian soybeans they can in the interim, leading to expectations that the European Union would buy more from the U.S. Still, the EU's purchases won't come close to making up for Beijing's cutback in purchases of U.S. soybeans. "But nonetheless, it's going to get down to a point where they're not going to be able to survive if this continues down the same path", Rounds told CNN on Wednesday.

And the disintegration of the deal yet prickles for huge sections of American and European business who had passionately wished to generate a trans-Atlantic account of the North American Free Trade Agreement.

He warned, however, it was too soon to "assess the actual content".

Last week, critics from the auto industry lined up at an all-day hearing with the Commerce Department to urge the administration to reject auto tariffs. General Motors slashed its outlook, and shares of Ford Motor Co. and auto parts companies have fallen. And the two agreed to resolve a dispute over U.S. tariffs on steel and aluminium.

But European markets rallied, as French and German carmakers rebounded on news of their reprieve.

However, it "may not be necessary" to impose the tariffs.

Juncker told Trump during a meeting in the Oval Office that the trade talks are important.

Many farmers and farm-state lawmakers condemned the move.

To the relief of many, the United States and Europe have agreed to avert a trade war over autos and to work toward removing other barriers to trade.

The European Union appears to have won a big trade-war ceasefire with the US for a small price - at least in the short term. "We can also do stupid".

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