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The Wall Street Journal reports U.S., EU Agree to Resolve Trade Differences.

President Trump on Wednesday declared a “new phase” in the relationship between the U.S. and the European Union, agreeing to hold off on proposed car tariffs and work with the EU to resolve their dispute over metals duties, while also promoting bilateral trade.

Speaking in the Rose Garden of the White House alongside European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, Mr. Trump said the U.S. and the EU had agreed to “work together toward zero tariffs, zero non-tariff barriers and zero subsidies on non auto-industrial goods.”

“This was a very big day for free and fair trade,” Mr. Trump said. He said the U.S. and EU would “resolve” the steel and aluminum tariffs he imposed earlier this year and the retaliatory tariffs the EU imposed in response.

He said the EU had agreed “almost immediately” begin buying more U.S. soybeans and that the European bloc had agreed to increase LNG exports [imports?] from the U.S. The EU will be a “massive buyer” of LNG, Mr. Trump said.

“I had the intention to make a deal today,” said Mr. Juncker. “And we made a deal today. “

Lie When It's Serious

Ahead of the meeting, Juncker said it was not his intent to work out a deal. Now he says it was his intention all along.

In case you forgot, please consider the most honest thing Juncker ever said: “When it becomes serious you have to lie.”

So, is Juncker lying today or was he lying two days ago?

The US is not going to supply the EU with LNG. That is a direct and blatant lie by Trump. The EU will get natural gas from Russia via Nordstream2. US LNG would be far more costly.

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So there are lies all around.

Meaningless Agreement

As I have pointed out, it will take the EU and the US a decade to work out a real agreement. Juncker by himself cannot promise anything. All 27 nations in the EU have to ratify trade deals.

The EU can add retaliatory tariffs without every nation agreeing and now it can remove them.


Is this winning?

Please be serious. Not imposing auto tariffs was smart, but was that a result of today's meeting or was it a result of every automaker and all the farmers complaining loudly?

Even if you credit Juncker or Trump, all that has happened (at most) is a return to the status quo with the EU before Trump started blasting away with absurd tariffs.

With 35 companies and organizations bitching about Trump's inane tariffs, this is best viewed as either a reversal by Trump or a political stunt that accomplishes nothing.

For discussion, please see Trump's Trade War Casualty List: 35 Companies and Organizations Complain.

Obvious lies aside, it is a good thing to deescalate trade war talk.

Mike "Mish" Shedlock