US farmers to receive up to US$12B in trade war relief

Dwayne Harmon
July 26, 2018

US President Donald Trump has reached an agreement with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker aimed at averting a transatlantic trade war, easing tensions stoked by Mr Trump's threat to impose tariffs on vehicle imports.

Trump said he and his European Union counterpart agreed to "work together toward" bringing tariffs, other trade barriers and subsidies on non-automobile subsidies down to zero.

Ross said a bilateral trade relationship between the US and the European Union would be beneficial when dealing with the escalating USA tariffs on goods from China.

On Wednesday, Trump and Juncker said they have agreed to work toward "zero tariffs" and "zero subsidies" on non-automotive goods.

"We're starting these negotiations right now, but we very much know where its going", Trump said to reporters. In May, Trump abandoned a framework for trade negotiations with China within days of it being announced, before ratcheting up tariffs.

"I just want to conclude by saying this was a very big day for free and fair trade", Trump said.

"This was a good and constructive meeting", Juncker said.

"We are close partners, allies - not enemies", Juncker said as Trump nodded and said, "Yes".

United States import tariffs of 25% on steel and 10% on aluminum imposed in March will remain in place during the talks, but Juncker added: 'It is the first time that the Americans agreed to reassess the measure that they have taken in the steel and aluminum sector'.

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But when threatened with tariffs on autos and auto parts, European Union officials rushed to come to Washington, Mr Trump claimed. "If we team up, we can make our planet a better, more secure, and prosperous place".

Pennsylvania farmers greeted the Trump Administration's announcement Tuesday of $12 billion in emergency aid to agriculture with mixed emotions. Either a country which has treated the United States unfairly on Trade negotiates a fair deal, or it gets hit with Tariffs. WTO Director-General Roberto Azevedo said Wednesday he is hoping to "stop this trend" of growing restrictions on trade.

However, the deal was contingent "on the understanding that as long as we are negotiating. we will hold off further tariffs, and we will reassess existing tariffs on steel and aluminum".

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is trying to ease some of farmers' pain during the trade war.

"The aim is to figure out what the ask is, we don't yet have a clear picture of what the administration wants", the official said.

President Donald Trump announced a $12- billion bailout Tuesday for farmers who are hurting from his escalating trade war over tariffs.

"Les Danielson has been in the farming business for the last 25 years, he raises about 500 acres of crops, 200 acres of corn, 200 acres of soybeans, dairy and beef cows", he said.

But "if he continues to demand tariff increases as he has been, or if he continues to agree with those who are against China, I definitely would not be able to accept (more orders)", she said.

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