Date
17 October 2018
US President Donald Trump and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker speak about trade relations following a meeting at the White House in Washington on Wednesday. Photo: Reuters
US President Donald Trump and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker speak about trade relations following a meeting at the White House in Washington on Wednesday. Photo: Reuters

Trump, EU leader pledge to hold off on further tariffs

US President Donald Trump and European Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker agreed on Wednesday to work toward eliminating trade barriers on industrial goods.

While negotiations take place on those issues, both sides had agreed not to impose new tariffs, including those threatened by Trump on autos and auto parts, Reuters reports.

“As long as we are negotiating, unless one party would stop the negotiations, we will hold off further tariffs,” Juncker was quoted as saying. “And we will reassess the existing tariffs on steel and aluminum.”

The two leaders did not specifically mention car tariffs in their statements, keeping the focus on other industrial products, the report noted.

“We agreed today, first of all to work together toward zero tariffs, zero non-tariff barriers, and zero subsidies on non-auto industrial goods,” Trump told reporters at the White House.

A “high-level working group” will be put together to negotiate tariff, subsidy and non-tariff barrier issues, holding out the prospect of reduced trade tensions between the two sides.

Trump and Juncker said after a White House meeting that they agreed to hold sweeping trade talks that also cover increased European purchases of American soybeans and liquefied natural gas.

The discussions will also encompass reducing barriers to transatlantic trade in services, chemicals, pharmaceuticals and medical products.

Trump agreed to “resolve” existing US tariffs on European steel and aluminum as well as Europe’s retaliatory tariffs against US motorcycles, bourbon and other products, according to the report.

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RC

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