- The Washington Times - Wednesday, July 25, 2018

President Trump laid a zero-tariff deal on the table as he opened a tense trade talk Wednesday with top European Union officials.

“If we could have no tariffs, and no barriers and no subsidies, the United States would be extremely pleased,” Mr. Trump said at an Oval Office sit-down with EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker.

The president added that he wants a trade deal that is “good for everybody.”

Mr. Juncker pledged that they would work together.

“We are close partners, allies, not enemies. We have to work together,” he said. “We are representing half of the world’s trade so I think we have to talk each to another, not at another, and that’s what (we’ll) do today.”



The two leaders faced off over an escalating dispute over tariffs and trade barriers that block U.S. goods. The big dispute is over cars, with Mr. Trump for the EU to lower high tariffs on cars.

“We want reciprocal with European Union or others. It has to be reciprocal in nature at a minimum,” Mr. Trump said. “We are working on that, and I think we are making tremendous strides.”

Mr. Trump, who insists he’s trying to fix bad trade deals, has threatened to slap up to a 25 percent tariff on cars and car parts if the EU doesn’t level the playing field.

The EU charges a 10 percent import duty on cars. The U.S. charges 2.5 percent.

Mr. Trump said a deal was possible, and Mr. Juncker’s team said they came to Washington looking to avoid a tariff war. But Mr. Juncker also has tariffs on $20 billion worth of U.S. goods ready if they can’t strike a deal.

Mr. Trump said: “As Jean-Claude said, together as a unit we make up more than 50 percent of the world trade. That’s a big number. So we expect something very positive to take place.”

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