In an interview on Fox Business News last week, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross praised the president’s meeting with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, saying that the two leaders had sketched out a deal that would lead to free trade and fair trade between the United States and the European Union.
The meeting, which took place Wednesday, ended with an announcement from both parties that the EU had agreed to import more soybeans and natural gas, as well as lift some industrial tariffs, in exchange for the administration not imposing new tariffs on Europe.
“We had a big day, very big,” the president said in a Rose Garden event after the meeting, according to Fox News. “We set out to launch a new phase of close friendship between the United States and the European Union, strong trade relationships where both of us will win.
“This was a very big day for free and fair trade,” he added.
In his appearance on Lou Dobbs’ Fox Business Network show, Ross agreed with that assessment.
Asked how soon the country would start seeing results from the negotiations, Ross said “it’s going to take a while to implement.”
.@SecretaryRoss on EU trade talks: "The key ingredients are both leaders agreed on the real objectives in detail. Namely, no tariffs, no non-tariff trade barriers, no subsidies, no interference with market access. Those are very, very big steps." pic.twitter.com/lQej09rvyC
— FOX Business (@FoxBusiness) July 30, 2018
“But the key ingredients are both leaders agreed on the real objectives in detail,” he said.
“Namely, no tariffs, no non-tariff trade barriers, no subsidies, no interference with market access. Those are very, very big steps.”
National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow also agreed that the meeting had been fruitful.
“The EU came with a positive attitude, our side had a positive attitude, we are going to get to work immediately on these issues and then we will deal with the larger picture,” Kudlow said, according to The Hill. “This changes everything.”
Perhaps most importantly, however, is what the deal does to China.
The deal ensures that America and Europe “will be allied” against China, which has “broken the world trading system” through economic manipulation and intellectual property theft, Kudlow said.
“They’re not the only ones, but the world trading system is broken with high tariffs and barriers and technological stealing and (intellectual property) theft,” he noted.
But the most important thing, for the president, was a “level playing field” with the EU.
“For years, the U.S. has been losing hundreds of billions of dollars in trade with the European Union, and we just want it to be a level playing field for our farmers, for our manufacturers, for everybody and we also want a big beneficiary, frankly, to be the European Union and we think it can be good for everybody and that’s why we are here to discuss,” Trump said Wednesday.
The devil may be in the details, but it looks like he’s gotten at least something resembling what he was asking for. Talk about the art of the deal.
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