Trump and Juncker Supposedly Agree to Trade Deal: Lies All Around

The US and EU agree to resolve trade differences. Color me skeptical as to how long this lasts and what happens next.

The Wall Street Journal reports U.S., EU Agree to Resolve Trade Differences.

President Trump on Wednesday declared a “new phase” in the relationship between the U.S. and the European Union, agreeing to hold off on proposed car tariffs and work with the EU to resolve their dispute over metals duties, while also promoting bilateral trade.

Speaking in the Rose Garden of the White House alongside European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, Mr. Trump said the U.S. and the EU had agreed to “work together toward zero tariffs, zero non-tariff barriers and zero subsidies on non auto-industrial goods.”

“This was a very big day for free and fair trade,” Mr. Trump said. He said the U.S. and EU would “resolve” the steel and aluminum tariffs he imposed earlier this year and the retaliatory tariffs the EU imposed in response.

He said the EU had agreed “almost immediately” begin buying more U.S. soybeans and that the European bloc had agreed to increase LNG exports [imports?] from the U.S. The EU will be a “massive buyer” of LNG, Mr. Trump said.

“I had the intention to make a deal today,” said Mr. Juncker. “And we made a deal today. “

Lie When It's Serious

Ahead of the meeting, Juncker said it was not his intent to work out a deal. Now he says it was his intention all along.

In case you forgot, please consider the most honest thing Juncker ever said: “When it becomes serious you have to lie.”

So, is Juncker lying today or was he lying two days ago?

The US is not going to supply the EU with LNG. That is a direct and blatant lie by Trump. The EU will get natural gas from Russia via Nordstream2. US LNG would be far more costly.

So there are lies all around.

Meaningless Agreement

As I have pointed out, it will take the EU and the US a decade to work out a real agreement. Juncker by himself cannot promise anything. All 27 nations in the EU have to ratify trade deals.

The EU can add retaliatory tariffs without every nation agreeing and now it can remove them.

Winning?

Is this winning?

Please be serious. Not imposing auto tariffs was smart, but was that a result of today's meeting or was it a result of every automaker and all the farmers complaining loudly?

Even if you credit Juncker or Trump, all that has happened (at most) is a return to the status quo with the EU before Trump started blasting away with absurd tariffs.

With 35 companies and organizations bitching about Trump's inane tariffs, this is best viewed as either a reversal by Trump or a political stunt that accomplishes nothing.

For discussion, please see Trump's Trade War Casualty List: 35 Companies and Organizations Complain.

Obvious lies aside, it is a good thing to deescalate trade war talk.

Mike "Mish" Shedlock

Comments (39)
No. 1-25
shamrock
shamrock

"This is nothing but a political stunt that accomplishes nothing." Maybe it's simply back to the way things were 6 months ago, but that's way better than the way it is now and way way better than even more tariffs. Let Trump declare this the greatest trade deal ever made and move on.

Carlos_
Carlos_

"The US is not going to supply the EU with LNG" Yes and no. The pipeline goes online in 2020 so all the EU need is buy some more LNG (Which they are already) to make Trump happy and avoid more unpleasantness. All Trump needs is to keep the hoses. With Trump is always about looking good and a "winner". I speculate this is from upbringing

ML1
ML1

This was a good deal from Trump. Much better than I expected after EU has been humiliating UK intentionally for months and months regarding Brexit negotiations. . However almost everything with EU depends on follow-up so Trump needs to remind them regularly what has been agreed and demand something is done on the more general "in the air" promises. . Most what was promised to Trump like soybeans and LNG can be done by individual large EU countries that have an interest in stopping a trade war because they export so much products to USA like Germany and France. This is a good thing because EU as a whole is a slow moving behemoth due to so many (28-29) members each of whom have to agree for most things to go forward. . There has been some issues where things can be now decided through a qualified majority voting in the European Council and this was used in 2015 to push through the spreading around EU of 120,000 asylum seekers from Greece and Italy that Merkel demanded. (there had been a previous burden sharing of 40,000 people from Greece and Italy to around EU earlier in 2015 but there was no voting then because it was a decision all agreed on or at least did not want to demand a vote on). . Hungary voted against this 120k burden sharing with some other Eastern European countries but they were defeated because Austria was still open borders in 2015. However Hungary still refused to take any and is now fighting EU in EU courts despite only around 35,000 asylum seekers from this 40k+120k ever being spread around Europe because eligible relocated asylum seekers ran out after people stopped coming to Greece when borders were CLOSED by Austria and Slovenia in early 2016 and Hungary in late 2015 and after Italy received less of the nationalities eligible for burden sharing aka Syrians and Eritreans than anticipated. Both Greece and Italy had also PUSHED most people north as a policy earlier in 2015 so there was less burden to share. Greece registered only 1% of the people going through it and Italy registered about 50%ish. . Juncker treated Trump like he treats Merkel. Towards smaller EU countries Juncker (or Druncker as some say) is a total arrogant a-hole.

ML1
ML1

There is ALREADY a HUGE pipeline from Russia through the Baltic Sea to Germany bringing massive amounts of NatGas. EU also imports lots of NatGas from Russia through the many pipelines going from Russia through Ukraine to EU countries. . The new pipeline being built from Russia through the Baltic Sea to Germany is a sister-pipeline of the first NatGas pipeline and that is needed because Merkel promised after Fukushima to stop all German nuclear power plants by 2022. After 2022 Germany will be totally at the mercy of Putin since NO more nuclear power and due to the Climate Change brouhaha in EU and the promise to slash CO2 emissions massively Germany is also phasing out coal despite there being good quality filtering systems for coal power plants by now. Germany will live or die on Russian NatGas from 2022 on. . IF I was Trump I would demand that as a condition of NATO membership country could NOT import more than 20% of it's energy needs from one country. Germany is on the road to becoming a vassal state of Russia energy wise...