European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and Donald Trump after they reached "a deal".
US President Donald Trump and European Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker on Wednesday have announced a series of joint steps to defuse an escalating row between the two trading blocs. After $34 billion in tariffs against China went into effect earlier this month, China responded with its own equivalent tariffs soon after, targeting USA agricultural products including soy, corn, wheat, pork, poultry and more.
Juncker said the European Union already imports 35 percent of its natural gas from USA producers, but will work to buy more.
It was not clear whether the two sides made any progress on the contentious issue of possible USA tariffs on imports of automobiles from Europe.
Trump told CBS News' Jeff Glor earlier this month that he considers the European Union a "foe" because of how the collection of nations has treated the US on trade.
Thus far, Trump's administration has already enacted sweeping tariffs on USA imports of steel, aluminum, washing machines, and solar-energy equipment while targeting China specifically with tariffs on an additional $34 billion worth of goods. But we have to do it. "We can also do stupid".
On Wednesday, the tone was conciliatory.
Mr Trump has threatened to impose tariffs on imported cars, prompting the Europeans to suggest they may place tariffs on 20 billion dollars (£15 billion) of American goods in retaliation.
Iran nuclear deal: 'Obama administration did the best they could'
As for a new nuclear agreement, Iran has said it wants to retain the 2015 agreement it signed with the United States and allies. We've been around for millennia & seen fall of empires, incl our own, which lasted more than the life of some countries .
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.
The tariffs are in part an effort to thwart the progress of China's "Made in China 2025" campaign, which the Trump administration considers a threat to U.S. supremacy in technology and innovation.
"I think we have to talk to one another and not at one another", Juncker said as he sat next to Trump in the Oval Office, thanking the U.S. leader for "taking the initiative to invite us to the White House". "Maybe we can work something out", he said.
The Trump administration has slapped tariffs on $34 billion in Chinese goods in a dispute over Beijing's high-tech industrial policies.
The effect of new tariffs on small and medium-sized businesses, the protection of which was a prominent staple of Trump's presidential campaign, was a recurring theme on Tuesday morning, with a number of witnesses from the chemical industry saying that such companies are reliant on imported products that only China offers.
The Trump administration is coming to the aid of farmers hurt by its own hard-line trade policies, announcing Tuesday that it will make an estimated $12 billion in government assistance available, including direct payments to growers. He has also threatened to slap tariffs on imported cars, trucks and auto parts, potentially targeting imports that previous year totalled 335 billion dollars (£254 billion).
The European Union has warned that it will retaliate with tariffs on products worth 20 billion dollars (£15 billion) if Mr Trump puts duties on cars and auto parts from Europe.
"We also will resolve the steel and aluminum tariff issues and we will resolve retaliatory tariffs".