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Trump and EU call trade war truce

Trump and Juncker in the Oval Office. Photo: Kevin Dietsch, Pool/Getty Images

President Trump and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker announced Wednesday that they will open negotiations to, as Trump put it, "work toward zero tariffs, zero non-tariff barriers and zero subsidies," and hold off on any further tariffs unless either side terminates the negotiations.

Why it matters: The trade war appears to be on hold, at least on the European front. However, importantly, Trump said the path toward "zero tariffs" applied to "all non-auto industrial goods." Trump has been mulling auto tariffs that could hit EU countries like Germany hard. Juncker struck an optimistic tone, saying “I had the intention to make a deal today and we made a deal today.”

More details:

  • Trump and Juncker also said the EU would begin importing more liquefied natural gas and soybeans from the U.S.
  • Trump said the process would be led by an "executive working group" of "very intelligent people on both sides."
  • The leaders said the U.S. and EU would work together to reform the WTO and cut down on unfair trade practices.

Smart take, from FT World Trade Editor Shawn Donnan: "This is basically an announcement to resume broad trade negotiations suspended since the Obama administration... TTIP 2.0."

Go deeper: Read the joint U.S.-EU statement.

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