Juncker to Trump: US, EU are 'close partners, not enemies'

Juncker to Trump: US, EU are 'close partners, not enemies'

Top European Union officials were going into a meeting with U.S. President Donald Trump on Wednesday warning they are ready to put tariffs on $20 billion of American goods if he puts duties on auto imports.

The announcement comes hours ahead of a meeting between the European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and President Donald Trump at the White House on Wednesday.

Trump will take his competitive approach on trade into a meeting Wednesday with European commission president Jean-Claude Juncker, who will come armed with proposals meant to appease the mad man behind the wheel.

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

Trump agreed to put off auto tariffs on Europe and the two leaders said they would begin broader talks over lowering other trade barriers on industrial products.

For instance, the United States said in May it had trade war with China on hold as both countries agreed to execute a framework for increasing US's agriculture and energy exports after high-level talks in the same month. Trump said the European Union will also become a "massive buyer" of US liquefied natural gas.

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"In regards to agricultural trade we see especially in soybeans no negotiating leeway for a trade-political agreement as oilseed imports from the United States are already free from customs restrictions", DBV president Joachim Rukwied said. "Are the three majors that are going to be implemented going to affect farmers fairly or are corporations going to be the benefactors of those major.I think they're also really anxious about a prolonged trade war", said Julie Keown-Bomar, Executive Director for the Wisconsin Farmers Union. "China made $517 Billion on us previous year".

Experts and commentators on both sides of the Atlantic urged caution after the talks, as Juncker arrived in Washington without a specific trade offer, nor was one agreed.

In Washington, the European Union representatives reminded Trump that U.S. companies need licenses to sell overseas, which inflates prices.

"It is, at first sight, a welcome development because we were facing, indeed the world is facing, the big risk of an escalating trade war with tit-for-tat measures and countermeasures leading to a downward spiral", Corbett added.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel's economy minister, Peter Altmaier, tweeted: 'Breakthrough achieved that can avoid trade war and save millions of jobs! The president had threatened to impose tariffs as high as 25 percent on European autos imported in the USA which brought a EU promise of retaliation.

"The idea that imports of steel or aluminium from your closest ally could threaten the national security of this country [as Trump had claimed] - this goes against all logic and against all history", Juncker said.

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