Published: Sat, July 28, 2018
Markets | By Erika Turner

U.S. President Trump says 'tariffs are the greatest'

U.S. President Trump says 'tariffs are the greatest'

After a meeting at the White House between U.S. President Donald Trump and EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, the two leaders declared a temporary truce to escalating trade tensions and agreed to begin negotiations to eliminate tariffs and subsidies on everything but cars.

For instance, the United States said in May it had trade war with China on hold as both countries agreed to execute a framework for increasing US's agriculture and energy exports after high-level talks in the same month. Notably, the deal also includes promises from the import more soybeans and natural gas.

Farmers and manufacturers have criticized tariffs imposed by Trump, warning that they will spur a global trade war and retaliatory tariffs from countries like China, Mexico and Canada that will damage their livelihoods and raise prices on consumers.

So let's examine their game plans.

On another front, Trump's administration has hit even its close allies the European Union, Canada and Mexico with levies on steel and aluminium exports to the U.S., prompting retaliation against iconic U.S. products including bourbon whisky and orange juice. The EU was initially granted an exemption that expired in May.

The red, white and blue banners for U.S. President Donald Trump's second-term campaign are ready to ship, emblazoned with the words "Keep America Great!" For the time being, these new tariffs appear less likely to be instituted, but this is not the first time that the President has pulled back from the brink of a trade war, only to conduct an escalating foray if he feels his trade "foes" haven't submitted themselves fully enough to his weird and counterfactual vision of the global trade order.

For his part, Trump believes that the European Union is a trade "foe" of the US and that his tariffs are necessary and appropriate.

Dr Patrick Cronin, senior director for the Asia-Pacific programme at the Centre for a New American Security, told The Straits Times: "Europe and the United States are back on the same team with respect to free and fair trade".

Likewise, many United States based companies that manufacture their goods in places like China have advocated for the Bill which will not only help their own business interests but those of United States consumers who do not want to bear the economic brunt of Trump's protectionist onslaught. 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. "This is not yet the result we are aiming for but it has made a positive result in the whole discussion. on free trade or protectionism more likely than before", Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said in Seoul. The EU has counterpunched with tariffs on US products.

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That's because the European Union is no pushover.

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The agreements come in the wake of heightened tensions between the USA and EU.

According to a Reuters report replete with surreal photos, women at sewing machines presumably earning sweatshop-level wages with no dental make, fold and pack beach-towel-size thousands of Trump banners a month, at a buck a piece, with total production since March about 90,000.

"I think they weighed what it would mean to open up a 50 billion euro trade nightmare", the official said.

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

Trump is also expected to tour Granite City Works' Hot Strip Mill before returning to Washington on Thursday evening. "A lot more jobs are being created", he said.

"We knew this wasn't an academic seminar", the official told the paper.

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