Trump accuses China of vicious trade tactics amid escalating dispute

Trump accuses China of vicious trade tactics amid escalating dispute

Auto tariffs at the level Trump has threatened would add about 10,000 euros (US$11,700) to the sticker price of a European-built vehicle sold in the USA, according a European Commission assessment obtained by Bloomberg News last month.

Trump and European Union Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker agreed to open talks to tear down trade barriers and address US tariffs on steel imports.

The United States has been looking to support farmers hurt by the tariffs imposed on USA products and this week announced a $12 billion support package.

The two sides agreed to expand European imports of USA liquified natural gas and soybeans and lower industrial tariffs on both sides, Mr Trump said.

The aid package will offer much-needed support to farmers caught up in the burgeoning trade war sparked by tariffs Trump imposed on several of US's largest trading partners.

On March 1, Trump announced that the USA would be imposing a 25 percent tariff on steel imports and a 10 percent tariff on all aluminum imports. But we have to do it. "That's not free trade, that's fool's trade, that's stupid trade and we don't do that kind of trade anymore".

On Wednesday, the tone was conciliatory.

Reuters reported Wednesday that European Union trade commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom said her office is drawing up a $20 billion list of us goods to hit with retaliatory tariffs should the administration implement that threat.

Trump told 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. "We have some tariffs that are retaliatory and that will get resolved as part of what we're doing".

"We are starting the negotiation right now, but we know where it is going".

"We agree today, first of all, to work together toward zero tariffs, zero, non-tariff barriers, and zero subsidies on non-auto industrial goods", Trump, alongside Juncker, told reporters in the White House Rose Garden Wednesday.

The move would be the first expansion of United States tariffs on Chinese goods since a similar tax was imposed on US$34 billion worth of goods on July 6.

He has slapped taxes on imported steel and aluminium, saying they pose a threat to USA national security.

The EU, China, and Canada have hit billions of USA goods with tariffs in response, causing the White House on Tuesday to propose $12 billion in emergency aid to farmers hurt by such retaliatory measures.

With the United States threatening to impose punishing new tariffs on European Union auto exports, Juncker said: "We are close partners, allies - not enemies". He repeatedly threatened to levy new tariffs on European autos, and his administration in May slapped import duties on steel and aluminum coming from Europe.

Trump said he is working on the steel and aluminum tariffs.

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., tweeted that the agreement "not to impose additional tariffs during negotiations is very smart and the best way to achieve a win-win solution".

The trade war could eventually extend well beyond the US$50 billion worth of Chinese imports already targeted and likely to face tariffs after this week's hearings.

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