Trump Says U.S., EU Working Towards "Zero" Tariffs

Wednesday, July 25th 2018, 4:45 pm
By: News 9

President Trump and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker have agreed to work towards "zero" tariffs," Mr. Trump announced in a joint statement with Juncker in the White Hosue Rose Garden Wednesday. Juncker said the two have agreed to hold off on further tariffs as they negotiate the details.  

"We agree today, first of all, to work together toward zero tariffs, zero, non-tariff barriers, and zero subsidies on non-auto industrial goods," Mr. Trump told reporters.

"When I was invited by the president to the White House, I had one intention: I had the intention to make a deal today. And we made a deal today," Juncker said.

The news comes after Mr. Trump threatened tariffs on auto imports, and Reuters reported the European Commission is preparing retaliatory tariffs. Mr. Trump said he is working on the steel and aluminum tariffs. 

Mr. Trump said the U.S. and EU will set up an executive working group to work on trade and assess existing tariffs "to the betterment of both."

"We're starting the negotiation right now but we know very much where it's going," Mr. Trump said.

Mr. Trump said the EU and U.S. are launching a "new phase in the relationship" between the two nations, one of close "friendship." 

Less than two weeks ago, Mr. Trump told CBS News' Jeff Glor he considers the EU a "foe" because of how the collection of nations has treated the U.S. on trade. 

During their Oval Office meeting, Mr. Trump said he expects something "very positive to take place" during their discussions, but was adamant that a "level playing field" is needed for U.S. farmers and manufacturers. 

Moments before the joint statement was to start, the White House issued a press release blasting other nations, including the EU, over tariffs related to agriculture. 

The president has continued to rant over trade on Twitter, as even members of his own party declare them ineffective at best, and harmful at worst.

"Every time I see a weak politician asking to stop Trade talks or the use of Tariffs to counter unfair Tariffs, I wonder, what can they be thinking? Are we just going to continue and let our farmers and country get ripped off? Lost $817 Billion on Trade last year. No weakness!" the president tweeted Wednesday morning. 

© 2018 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.