US, EU avert wider trade war

Amid an Oval Office showdown over trade Wednesday, the United States and European Union reached a truce and agreed to talks, during which time they will not punish each other with additional tariffs.

The US and EU presidents, following their nearly three hours of White House meetings, announced they had agreed, for now, not to escalate the trade row between the two partners responsible for half of global commerce.

“We agreed today, first of all, to work together toward zero tariffs, zero non-tariff barriers and zero subsidies on non-auto industrial goods,” President Donald Trump announced in the White House Rose Garden with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker at his side. “We will also work to reduce barriers and increase trade in services, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, medical products, as well as soybeans.”

Juncker said that as long as negotiations continue, the parties will “hold off further tariffs and reassess existing tariffs on steel and aluminum,” which were put in place by the Trump administration.

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