Trump Wins Trade Concessions from Europe, Agrees to Work Toward Zero Tariffs

US admits damage by trade war, to give $12-B aid to farmers

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.

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

"We agreed to work towards zero tariffs, zero non-tariff barriers and zero subsidies on non-auto industrial goods", the United States president told a joint news conference after the meeting.

After Trump slapped steep new tariffs on imports of foreign steel and aluminum earlier this year, China, Mexico, and the European Union imposed retaliatory tariffs on billions of dollars U.S. goods - from bourbon, Harley Davidson motorbikes and orange juice to dairy products, soybeans and pork.

The Trump administration on Tuesday said it would provide up to US$12 billion in aid for USA farmers to shield them from the repercussions felt by trade spats between the United States and China, the European Union and others.

"This was a very big day for free and fair trade", Trump said.

Juncker declared he "had the intention to make a deal today and we made a deal today".

Trump's assurances that negotiations with Beijing are "going really well" come as the US Trade Representative's office ploughs ahead with procedures to enact a second round of punitive tariffs on Chinese imports worth US$16 billion. The United States is the world's largest exporter of soybeans, with almost half the US crop exported annually-and China is the largest importer of them.

Updated 4:52 p.m. |President Donald Trump and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker announced a plan to - perhaps - end the trade conflict between America and some of its oldest allies.

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Tuesday evening, hours before the meeting was to take place, Trump tweeted that he hoped the USA and the European Union could agree to "drop all Tariffs, Barriers and Subsidies".

Benchmark U.S. 10-year notes last fell 5/32 in price to yield 2.9542 percent, from 2.936 percent late on Wednesday. The two didn't take questions from reporters. The E.U. subsequently retaliated with tariffs on a number of USA goods. Trump had previously threatened to impose a 25% tariff on imported vehicles and parts from the EU.

Trump hailed what he called "a new phase" of trade relations.

China has counterpunched with tariffs on American products, including soybeans and pork - a shot at Trump supporters in the USA heartland. Those affected economies have in turn targeted USA agricultural products, including soybeans, dairy, meat, produce and liquor.

The development also comes as Trump continues to ramp up trade tensions with China, Mexico and Canada. "I have an idea for them", Trump said in a Tuesday night tweet.

Democratic U.S. Representative Jackie Speier of California, a major agricultural state, challenged the president on Twitter.

Trump has been critical of the European Union over its $150 billion trade surplus with the U.S. But Europe is only one front in Trump's attacks on trading partners. Diplomatic sources said that while official exchanges between the two countries have been greatly reduced since the trade dispute flared in the past months, it was likely that communications might still be continuing at lower levels.

He has also threatened to slap tariffs on imported cars, trucks and auto parts, potentially targeting imports that past year totalled £254 billion.

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