Trump Races Toward 25 Percent Tariff on Auto Imports

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At a meeting at the White House with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, US President Donald J. Trump reiterated his country's goal of becoming a major exporter of liquefied natural gas (LNG) to Europe, reducing the EU's reliance on Russian Federation.

They also agreed to increase trade in services and agriculture, including greater U.S. soy bean exports to the EU.

The EU is mulling tit-for-tat tariffs of around $20 billion on United States products if Washington goes ahead with its threat of new tolls on European cars, the bloc's trade commissioner said Wednesday.

"Surprisingly and in contrast to my usual behavior, the initiative did not come from me", he said, adding that he was unaware that another photographer was present in the room.

Trump knows that most of our trading partners don't really want free trade; they want managed trade, where they can get access to USA markets while protecting certain industries from US competition. Auto tariffs at that level would add about €10,000 (RM47,600) to the sticker price of a European-built vehicle sold in the USA, according a European Commission assessment obtained by Bloomberg News last month.

House Republicans confronted two of President Trump's top economic advisers on trade on Thursday, while also breathing a sigh of relief after the administration's decision to begin easing tensions with Europe a day earlier.

The damage to USA farmers prompted the Trump administration earlier this month to announce $12 billion (€10 billion) in farm subsidies, mostly to soybean growers.

The EU will buy U.S. soybeans and natural gas from the United States with levies on steel and aluminium imports to remain in place in the wake of the visit.

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"There is no doubt that farmers have been hurt by trade retaliation, and I understand the good intentions of the Administration to help American agriculture. And the European Union is going to start, nearly immediately, to buy a lot of soybeans", Trump told reporters after the meeting.

"The Spanish don't believe in unilateralism or that a specific economy imposes its policies and criteria in worldwide trade", said Sanchez.

The US and European Union, which have a US$1 trillion bilateral trade relationship, would also work together to reform the WTO and reduce unfair trade practices.

Farmers have been suffering from China's retaliatory tariffs on soya beans, and the EU's pledge to buy more soya beans could partly address that.

At a meeting of the leaders of the G7 major powers in Canada last month, Trump accused Juncker of being a "brutal killer", presumably with regard to the EU's trade policies.

"So trump got it way ... wow ... so he slaps tariffs on them and they come to the table to negotiate ... wow".

"European Union Nations will be open to the United States and at the same time benefiting by everything we are doing for them", Trump added.

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