Washington, Jul 25 (EFE).- President Donald Trump on Wednesday announced that he has reached an agreement with the European Union to move forward together toward a “zero tariff” situation, thus avoiding a trade war, after meeting in Washington with the president of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker.
Trump said that he had reached an agreement with the EU to work together toward a policy of “zero” tariffs and trade barriers, adding that “We are starting the negotiation right now, but we know where it is going” and proclaiming “a new phase” in US-EU trade relations.
Meanwhile, both Washington and Brussels will “hold off on other tariffs” while the talks are under way, Juncker said.
In a joint appearance before the press with Juncker that had not been included on either man’s official schedule, Trump said that the EU will begin importing soybeans from the US Midwest, as well as liquefied natural gas to “diversity” its energy sources, in addition to reducing some industrial tariffs.
The EC chief, meanwhile, hailed the trade agreement, which includes reducing tariffs by both parties and easing the bilateral frictions that had arisen in recent months.
Juncker said that he had gone into his Oval Office meeting with Trump with both parties intending to reach an agreement.
He also said that the pact establishes the “resolution” of the US tariffs on European steel and aluminum that had sparked a trade brouhaha between Brussels and Washington, although neither Trump nor Juncker specified whether these would be immediately annulled.
Minutes later, at a conference at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, Juncker said that the agreement emphasized the “special” nature of the alliance between the US and the EU going on to stress that trade between the two parties comprises half of all global commerce.
Juncker’s visit to Washington aroused great expectations after the exchange of accusations and the imposition of tariffs by Trump on European steel and aluminum, to which Brussels had responded with identical measures on assorted US products, including motorcycles and jeans.
Trump has insisted in recent months on the need for the EU to agree to his demands to facilitate US access to the European market and has threatened to impose tariffs of up to 20 percent on imports of European automobiles if the bloc did not make concessions to Washington.