Economy

Trump, Juncker tout deal pulling back from US-EU trade war

Trump, Juncker tout deal pulling back from US-EU trade war

Trump hosted Juncker at the White House this week to discuss trade and tariffs less than two weeks after Trump dubbed the European Union (EU) a USA trade "foe" in a "CBS Evening News" interview with anchor Jeff Glor.

It is said you can know the economic impact of the government's policies by listening carefully to its critics, and that's especially true with President Trump's tariff taxes on trade.

Juncker said the two leaders agreed that as long as negotiations were ongoing, "we'll hold off further tariffs and reassess existing tariffs on steel and aluminum" put in place by the Trump administration. As part of his daftly belligerent trade wars, Trump has imposed tariffs on $34 billion of Chinese goods and warned of $200 billion more.

Reaction on financial markets ranged from enthusiasm on stock exchanges to scepticism among currency investors, while commodities experts said Trump's proclamation that Europe would buy "lots of" soybeans from USA farmers hit by his trade row with China was not all that it seemed.

"And a lot of farmers aren't as well", Rep. David Young, R-Iowa, told CNN's Alisyn Camerota on "New Day", ahead of the President's visit to Iowa later in the day. "If farmers are going to see any semblance of fair market prices for their goods, the President needs to be working with our trade partners on fair trade agreements, not against them".

Cubs make the Cole Hamels deal official
In the midst of a relatively weak trade market for starting pitching, the Cubs were one of the teams pursuing Blue Jays lefty J.A. Darvish and Chatwood were the centerpieces of the Cubs' offseason, as the two free agent signees cost a total of $164 million.

The European Union could introduce a new wave of tariffs against imports from the United States if Washington targets European cars, according to the EU's trade chief Cecilia Malmstrom.

Third, we will seek to reduce trade and bureaucratic obstacles between the United States and the European Union to slash costs dramatically.

The kicker - though really there are so many - is that production has ramped up during what is usually a slow season in hopes of keeping costs low before Trump's own threatened, ill-considered tariffs against Chinese goods kick in, which economists agree would likely decimate both the Chinese and us economy, and, yes, raise the price of Trump's crappy swag.

"If he continues to demand tariff increases as he has been, or if he continues to agree with those who are against China, I definitely would not be able to accept (more orders)", she said.

Farmers have been suffering from China's retaliatory tariffs on soya beans, and the EU's pledge to buy more soya beans could partly address that.

Missing Irishman killed in Greek wildfires | Ireland
The inferno was by far Greece's worst since fires devastated the southern Peloponnese peninsula in August 2007, killing dozens. People jammed roads and freeways, trying to get away from the fires only to be trapped in their cars by the deadly flames.

He later told reporters that was a "major concession" on Trump's part and that he expected the U.S. president to follow through on it. So the Chinese are buying up all the Brazilian and Argentinian soybeans they can in the interim, leading to expectations that the European Union would buy more from the U.S. Still, the EU's purchases won't come close to making up for Beijing's cutback in purchases of U.S. soybeans.

Earlier this week, the Minneapolis district of the Federal Reserve Bank - which includes industrial and farm states - reported that there was "growing concern" about "steep increases in aluminum and steel costs in reaction to tariff announcements". The company credited Trump's tariffs on imported steel and aluminum for helping it re-open the steel mill east of St. Louis.

The details of the deal brokered with European Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker on Wednesday remain unclear and subject to differing interpretations, but the EU did ward off a new round of United States tariffs on autos and received a pledge to roll back duties on steel and aluminum. "The damage is likely to have political consequences, as the retaliatory tariffs [from our trading partners], targets states like Wisconsin, which Trump carried, that are dramatically impacted by his tariffs".

Mary Lovely, a Syracuse University economist who studies a trade, said, "The Chinese are not going to be buying our soybeans, so nearly by musical chairs, our soybeans are going to Europe". On Wednesday, the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced a $12 billion financial aid package to help them.

At the same time, he recognized that the European Commission is in no position to dictate to EU member states and companies to buy more soybeans.

Oil prices drop on worries about oversupply
West Texas Intermediate (WTI) futures saw an escalation of its oil prices by 0.6%, to $68.64 per barrel. Stockpiles at the hub were expected to fall for the 10th consecutive week, traders said.

"The willingness of Trump to agree to a trade truce with the European Union is a positive sign that a similar arrangement could be reached during a discussion with Xi Jinping", said Andy Rothman, a former USA diplomat in Beijing who is now an investment strategist at Matthews Asia, a money manager.


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