Trump announces an agreement with European Union on tariffs

Meanwhile, Tarun Arora of India-based importer IG International said he expected the 25% tariff rise on USA apples due to be implemented on August 4 to lead to a dramatic drop in volumes to what has this year become Washington State's number-two market.

Addressing the China trade relationship, Trump wrote on Twitter, "They are being vicious in what will be their failed attempt".

"Both the USA and the European Union drop all Tariffs, Barriers and Subsidies!"

Trump added: "This was a very big day for free and fair trade, a very big day indeed".

"We hope that it doesn't come to that and that we can find a solution".

President Donald Trump and European Union leaders announced Wednesday they have agreed to work toward "zero tariffs" and "zero subsidies" on non-automobile goods and would work to resolve USA tariffs on steel and aluminum imports that have roiled European markets.

"I do not believe it has ever been demonstrated that the deficit is a result of unfair trade practices", the official said, speaking anonymously to brief reporters on the coming meeting with Mr. Juncker. In another tweet, Trump claimed that "Negotiations are going really well, be cool".

The Trump administration said it would use a Great Depression-era program to pay up to $12 billion to help U.S. farmers.

"Experience has shown that trade wars and all this tit-for-tat is devastating to the [agriculture] economy and drives prices down", said Richard Schlosser, who grows soybeans, corn and wheat in Edgeley, in southwest North Dakota.

"The programs we're announcing today are a firm statement that other nations can not bully our agricultural producers to force the United States to cave in", Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said.

President Trump has blamed trade deals cut by previous administrations for falling soybean prices and pledged to make sure farmers return to their former glory.

Chuck Connor, president and CEO of the National Council of Farmer Cooperatives, said they look forward to working with Perdue and the USDA over the next month on details for the three programs, which will help farmers weather the trade war in the short term.

The two leaders diffused what had threatened to become a trade war between the two blocs, fuelled by tariffs set by Mr Trump on European steel and aluminium exports, and threats to expand the tariffs to cars.

Chinese President Xi Jinping said at an global summit in South Africa that the world faces "a choice between cooperation and confrontation", in remarks that criticized escalating US tariffs on goods from China and other major trading partners. The program is expected to start taking effect around Labor Day in the U.S. on September 3.

Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., said the administration was putting farmers on welfare.

That figure apparently refers to the USA trade deficit in goods alone last year, which hit $810 billion last year, while the total deficit including services was $566 billion.

"We appreciate the president following through on his pledge that America's farmers won't bear the brunt of the economic losses generated by the current trade conflicts", Mulhern said. The US trade deficit with China in 2017 came in at $375.6 billion, according to Census Bureau data, though adding that figure to this year's data through May comes out to about $528 billion. "I think it will only put out the fire a little bit".

  • Eleanor Harrison