Donald Trump 'deal' with European Union boss Jean-Claude Juncker averts trade war

Posted July 28, 2018

In what the European Union chief called a "major concession", US President Donald Trump agreed on Wednesday to refrain from imposing auto tariffs while the two sides launch negotiations to cut other trade barriers, easing the threat of a transatlantic trade war.

"The European Union is going to start nearly immediately to buy a soybeans from our farmers in the Midwest primarily", he said.

My research on worldwide trade suggests that a good way to analyze what's happening is not in terms of conflict but as a soccer match.

The White House painted the agreement as a vindication of the United States president's bare-knuckle tactics, which Trump has deployed even against allies.

So let's examine their game plans.

While presidents have generally received a printed "daily brief" containing the most important information gathered by the USA intelligence agencies over the previous 24 hours, according to the Washington Post, Trump insisted on a lavishly illustrated briefing document - and then he abandoned even that simplified approach, demanding that intelligence officials simply talk to him about the day's intelligence.

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Another problem for us is the fact that the English transfer window closes on 9th August, which is less than three weeks away. According to The Daily Mail , United paid Monaco a transfer fee of £36 million in the summer of 2015 for Martial.

Trump is facing increasing criticism as consumers, farmers and businesses are taking a hit from the retaliation to the raft of USA tariffs on steel, aluminium, and tens of billions of dollars in products from China that he has imposed in recent weeks. The EU was initially granted an exemption that expired in May.

Texas alone has billions of dollars in exports covered by payback tariffs, with a large chunk of that retaliation coming on critical crops like cotton, grain sorghum and soybeans.

"So trump got it way ... wow ... so he slaps tariffs on them and they come to the table to negotiate ... wow".

In other words, fearful that Trump was about to turn the trade war nuclear with auto tariffs (against the advice of his own staff, per WaPo), it sounds like Juncker did some eleventh-hour diplomacy to hold him off.

The EU will also reduce barriers and increase trade of American soybeans. The deal points to increased imports of USA soybeans.

"Take energy: In 2016, the first USA boat exporting American liquefied natural gas docked in the coast of Portugal". Armed with these advantages, Trump's strategy seems to be to use the threat of tariffs to create uncertainty, sow dissension within the European Union and extract concessions. The sides will also work to resolve US tariffs on steel and aluminum which are hitting the European markets hard.

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There was relief in Germany following mounting fears that its vehicle industry would be hard hit by the Trump administration's mooted 25pc tariff on $200bn worth of automobile imports.

Trump also secured an agreement with Europe to buy more liquified natural gas from the United States. That would cut USA imports of European cars and auto parts in half, the commission forecast. This makes it more likely that it will yield to Trump's demands.

Trump hailed it as a "breakthrough agreement", while Juncker said it was a "good and instructive meeting".

European Union buyers have already been stepping up purchases, with USA supplies now available at a significant discount to exports from South America.

In other words, halftime is nearly over, and the two teams will soon be on the field.

A lot more is at stake in this game than a trophy and bragging rights.

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"It means working to improve and shape the global rules-based system so that it continues to deliver the peace, prosperity and progress it has done for so many decades". Let's hope we don't have to go to penalty kicks.