Soybean farmers welcome emergency relief, still not sure about tariffs

Daniel Fowler
July 26, 2018

They also announced the European Union would begin purchasing more American liquified natural gas - a direct shot across the bow of Russian Federation - and soybeans.

The EU, China, and Canada have hit billions of U.S. goods with tariffs in response, causing the White House on Tuesday to propose $12 billion in emergency aid to farmers hurt by such retaliatory measures.

U.S. Department of Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross discusses President Trump's successful meeting with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker over trade.

Mr Juncker said he and the president had agreed to reassess national security barriers in "due time".

At the very least, the show of comity between the European Union and US governments should calm markets and perhaps reassure other sectors of the economy that are under the gun as a result of more tariffs planned by the administration.

Brussels already retaliated against the steel and aluminium tariffs, imposing punitive duties on over US$3 billion (S$4.09 billion) of United States goods, including blue jeans, bourbon and motorcycles, as well as orange juice, rice and corn. He said, again, that Washington will no longer put up with bad trade deals.

Senator Rob Portman, an Ohio Republican, said he applauded the move to de-escalate tensions over tariffs. "We should get back to opening markets for our farmers and aggressively enforcing our trade laws".

"We have identified a number of areas on which to work together". "But it's been hard these last few weeks to see any light at the end of the tunnel", with no signs of progress with the EU, Mexico, Canada or China. Whether any actual concessions have been made or will be made, a freeze on the spiral of tariffs on both sides is good news.

Trump suggests cutting all tariffs ahead of key meeting with EU
The EU commission told press on Monday and Tuesday that Juncker was not going to the United States with a new EU offer on trade. Trump has floated the idea in the past, but he tweeted Tuesday night that he doubts the Europeans will go for the idea.

Highlighting the complexity of Wednesday's talks, hours before Trump called for the elimination of all tariffs, he had tweeted that "tariffs are the greatest". Auto tariffs at that level would add about 10,000 euros (US$11,700) to the sticker price of a European-built vehicle sold in the USA, according a European Commission assessment obtained by Bloomberg News last month.

He also said they would "resolve the steel and aluminium tariffs", while Mr Juncker said the sides would hold off on any new tariffs while talks proceed. He said the Trump-Juncker accord was "a good start - it takes away many people's worries that the global economy could suffer serious damage in the coming months from a trade war". "Hope they do it, we are ready - but they won't!" "Both the US and the European Union drop all Tariffs, Barriers and Subsidies!" He told reporters he entered Wednesday's meeting with the intention of reaching an agreement with Trump.

We agreed today first of all to work together towards zero tariffs, zero nontariff barriers and zero subsidies for the non-auto industrial goods.

It's unclear as I write this if there's an actual deal or just a deal to make a deal, keep negotiating on trade.

He has also threatened to slap tariffs on imported cars, trucks and auto parts, potentially targeting imports that past year totalled £254 billion.

Mark Recker has been a farmer with his dad at the family farm for the past 25 years.

Auto tariffs at the level Trump has threatened would add about 10,000 euros (US$11,700) to the sticker price of a European-built vehicle sold in the USA, according a European Commission assessment obtained by Bloomberg News last month.

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