Trump and European Union chief Jean-Claude Juncker agree to ease trade tensions


US President Donald Trump and European leaders have pulled back from the brink of a trade war over cars and agreed to open talks to tear down trade barriers between America and the EU.

Trump said he expected "something very positive to take place" during the White House talks - after sending a series of tweets blasting Europe for unfair treatment of United States exports.

Trump tells workers gathered at U.S. Steel's Granite City Works' Steel Coil Warehouse that other countries were able to target U.S. workers and companies and steal U.S. intellectual property. Those affected economies have in turn targeted USA agricultural products, including soybeans, dairy, meat, produce and liquor.

"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.

President Trump's tariff threats against China, Canada, Mexico and the European Union prompted immediate threats of retaliation.

"We also will resolve the steel and aluminum tariff issues and we will resolve retaliatory tariffs".

On Tuesday, Mr. Trump suggested that both the US and European Union drop their existing tariffs and trade barriers on each other.

"I can't argue they are trying to help us but how long will this last?" said Watne.

"While we are working on this, we will not go against the spirit of this agreement unless either party terminates the negotiation", Trump said.

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The trade war could eventually extend well beyond the US$50 billion worth of Chinese imports already targeted and likely to face tariffs after this week's hearings.

"We hope that it doesn't come to that and that we can find a solution".

China, the European Union, Canada and Mexico have all been hit by USA levies on imports including steel and aluminum and have retaliated by placing their own tariffs on US agricultural exports, thus targeting farm states that are politically important to the president.

"It is not the European Commission that buys, but the industry, and traders who look for goods where they are the least expensive for their financial interests", one European soybean trader said.

Facing harsh criticism of his tariffs policy, President Donald Trump is offering assistance to USA farmers hurt by tariffs.

"We have to work together".

Ms Malmstrom told Swedish newspaper Dagens Nyheter: "The aim of this visit is to cool down the situation and prevent an escalation of the trade conflict". A formal proposal would only come after the US Commerce Department completed its investigation into whether auto imports threaten national security. "And we as farmers are playing the dupes again in this whole process", said Wisconsin farmer Michael Slattery who grows soybeans, corn, wheat and alfalfa with his wife on 300 acres in Maribel, Wisconsin.

Canada, Mexico and China - the main target of Trump's trade offensive - also hit back with steep duties on USA goods, and have filed complaints against Washington at the WTO.

Some outside advisers have privately urged Commerce officials to tailor any restrictions so that they only affect advanced technology used in cars and not the cars themselves, creating an opening for USA companies without inadvertently driving up broad costs on consumers.