White House to showcase USA products as trade battles loom

Trump spoke in Granite City saying he's celebrating'a victory. | Image Source CNN VAN

On Tuesday night, Trump issued a tweet proposing that both the US and the European Union drop all three as European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker prepares to visit Washington for trade talks on Wednesday.

The leaders pledged to expand European imports of US liquefied natural gas and soybeans and both vowed to lower industrial tariffs, excluding autos.

Trump has placed tariffs on imported steel and aluminium, saying they pose a threat to U.S. national security, an argument that the European Union and Canada rejects.

He's threatening to use the national security justification again to slap tariffs on imported cars, trucks and auto parts, potentially targeting imports that a year ago totaled $335 billion.

"We want to further strengthen this trade relationship to the benefit of all American and European citizens", Trump said in an impromptu statement delivered from the White House Rose Garden.

To help reduce some of the pain inflicted by a burgeoning trade war between the US and its traditional economic allies, the Trump administration on Tuesday announced an aid package worth $12 billion for farmers who've been hurt by the tariffs.

Juncker, the president of the European Commission, and top EU trade official Cecilia Malmstrom agreed to work with the United States to lower industrial tariffs on both sides and increase US exports of liquefied natural gas and soybeans to Europe, the official said, according to the report.

Meanwhile, the USA remains embroiled in major trade disputes with China and other trading partners.

In 1930, the US raised tariffs dramatically to protect American industry, encouraging other countries to do the same in a global trade war that made the Great Depression worse.

Cramer testified before the U.S. Trade Representative's office during a public hearing Tuesday, where he welcomed "strong defensive actions" against China's "unfair trade practices" that he argued previous administrations have failed to curtail.

USA soybean exporters have been looking to expand sales in markets such as the European Union after top buyer China imposed tariffs as part of a trade dispute with Washington.

House Speaker Paul Ryan Ryan offered Tuesday that he doesn't think "tariffs are the right answer".

"We have never compensated farmers directly on such a large scale for retaliatory tariffs", Irwin said.

"It doesn't set the scene for a very fruitful meeting", she said, adding that she only expects the meeting to provide "some sort of language that's mutually accepted". "They are a millimeter has not moved", said the Commissioner. A formal proposal would only come after the US Commerce Department completed its investigation into whether vehicle imports threaten national security.

Sonny Perdue, secretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, said the $12 billion relief package will be financed through the USDA's Commodity Credit Corporation, a mechanism that will not require congressional approval.

Juncker's visit to Washington came during a rocky period in U.S. "Europe's ahead of us", Schwager said.

As U.S. soybean farmers have struggled against retaliatory tariffs, Juncker said the European Union "can import more soybeans from the U.S. and it will be done". Washington has already imposed 25 per cent duties on US$34 billion of Chinese imports and threatened 10 per cent tariffs on US$200 billion of Chinese goods.

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