Trump Says US, EU Have Agreed to Work to Resolve Tariff Dispute

(CN) – President Donald Trump said Wednesday the U.S. and European Union have reached an agreement to ease trade tensions over tariffs.

In a Rose Garden ceremony with European Commission President Jean Claude Juncker, Trump said the agreement has four components, including working towards zero tariffs on non-industrial goods, increasing U.S. liquid natural gas exports to the EU and to launch a dialogue on standards in order to ease trade, reduce bureaucratic obstacles, and slash costs.

Trump also said both sides will resolve their outstanding steel and aluminum tariff issues and the retaliatory tariffs both sides have imposed on each other.

Junker said the meeting was good and constructive.

In a separate statement, the European Commission said U.S. and EU will also “work to reduce barriers and increase trade in services, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, medical products, as well as soybeans.”

“This will open markets for farmers and workers, increase investment, and lead to greater prosperity in both the United States and the European Union. It will also make trade fairer and more reciprocal,” the commission statement said.

The commission also said it agreed to work with the U.S. to jointly address “unfair global trade practices.”

“We will therefore work closely together with like-minded partners to reform the WTO and to address unfair trading practices, including intellectual property theft, forced technology transfer, industrial subsidies, distortions created by state owned enterprises, and overcapacity,” the commission said.

As almost happens with inter-governmental agreements, Wednesday’s announcement was followed by the creation of an “executive working group … to carry this joint agenda forward.”

“In addition, it will identify short-term measures to facilitate commercial exchanges and assess existing tariff measures. While we are working on this, we will not go against the spirit of this agreement, unless either party terminates the negotiations,” the European Commission said.

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