Trump's Lies Won't Make Farmers Great Again: There Was No Deal on Agriculture

Trump's lies about the "deal" with Juncker have surfaced already.

There are huge gaps in the story Trump tells vs the story the EU tells regarding the alleged deal between Trump and Juncker: Trump Says He ‘Opened Up Europe’ for Farmers. Europeans Disagree.

A day after President Trump hailed “a breakthrough agreement” on trade with Europe, European officials said the president and his aides are exaggerating the scope of their new pact.

While Mr. Trump told an Iowa crowd Thursday that “we just opened up Europe for you farmers,” officials in Brussels later said he did no such thing.

“On agriculture, I think we’ve been very clear on that—that agriculture is out of the scope of these discussions,” Mina Andreeva, the European Commission spokeswoman, told reporters in Brussels on Friday. “We are not negotiating about agricultural products,” added Ms. Andreeva, who was part of the European delegation visiting Washington earlier this week.

Officials on both sides agree that two specific agricultural matters came up. The Europeans said they were already engaged—prior to Wednesday’s handshake at the White House—with U.S. counterparts to boost high-quality beef imports from America as part of an effort to resolve a longstanding trade dispute. And they said they would seek to buy more U.S. soybeans, a politically sensitive sector for Mr. Trump, because China has cut imports of the crop in a separate trade tiff.

But European officials say that beyond those two specific areas, they made quite clear during the White House meeting that they would not include any broader discussion of agriculture in the pending talks.

Agriculture is one of the most sensitive and difficult trade questions for Europe, especially for France, and the U.S. and Europe have fought for years over everything from European tariffs to U.S. use of hormones and genetically modified products.

And Europe stood its ground on genetically modified organisms, or GMOs, refusing to negotiate access for any American products that hadn’t been already approved by the EU. Consumer backlash against what Europeans consider inferior quality U.S. produce coupled with resistance by farmers concerned that big American producers would destroy small, family-owned operations made it doubly difficult for Brussels to meet Washington’s demands.

Conflicting Views

Juncker: The U.S. “heavily insisted to insert the whole field of agricultural products. We refused that because I don’t have a mandate and that’s a very sensitive issue in Europe,” Mr. Juncker told reporters right after the meeting.

Lighthizer: “Our view is that we are negotiating about agriculture, period,” U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer told a Senate committee Thursday.

Only one of those views is possible and you get one guess as to which one.

Truce, Nothing More

There may be a Trade Truce but Trump won nothing.

“This is a real vindication that the president’s trade policy is starting to work,” Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross told reporters as he traveled with Mr. Trump. Mr. Trump, he said, hopes to push for a global reduction in trade barriers, “but to get there, we had to take a route of trying to make it more painful for the other parties to continue bad practices.”

While European officials did vow to try and buy more soybeans—to help offset American sales lost as a result of Chinese retaliation against the U.S.—they said that was really an affirmation of market forces, as prices for U.S. crops tumble, rather than a promise to buy a quota.

“We are not going to turn into some kind of a Soviet-style economy,” one said. “Market rules will remain in place.”

If Europe buys more soybeans it's because there were going to do so anyway. And they better not be GMO.

Bogus Deal, Bogus Announcement

There was no deal because there couldn't possibly be a deal. I said that upfront, and immediately after the alleged deal was announced.

This was my take hours after the announcement: Trump and Juncker Supposedly Agree to Trade Deal: Lies All Around

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.

TV Sitcom

​So here we are, one day later and the EU and US cannot even agree on a simple statement. The whole thing smacks of an overdone, overacted TV sitcom or "reality" show.

Even the way Juncker got Trump to agree to this non-deal is humorous.

Juncker flipped through more than a dozen colorful cue cards with simplified explainers, while telling Trump, “If you want to be stupid, I can be stupid, as well.”

Brilliant!

For discussion, please see Stupidity Threats: "I can be stupid as well," said Juncker to Trump.

Trade Negotiation Strategy Explained

Sadly, and as noted yesterday, this is what's become of trade negotiation policy: Anything you can do, I can do stupider. I can do anything stupider than you.

It took one day for this to unravel. It's a mystery why anyone believed the deal story in the first place.

France will never give in on agricultural policy and that is a very serious issue for working out deals with the EU.

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Mike "Mish" Shedlock

Comments (16)
No. 1-9
thimk
thimk

The EU is very protective on the quality of their food. NO frankenbeans for them. Aren't these the same farmers that voted Trump in 2016? Trump is back pedaling.

tz1
tz1

Well, those Farmers just need to get used to "creative destruction" and retrain for the tiny part of IT that won't be outsourced to India. No one cares when middle class jobs are destroyed. So what's the problem if Farmers follow Auto Workers into the economic woodchipper?

caradoc-again
caradoc-again

Joke of the day: “We are not going to turn into some kind of a Soviet-style economy,” one said. “Market rules will remain in place.”

caradoc-again
caradoc-again

If you want to negotiate with the EU, bring them close to an existential crisis.

After negotiating, keep a close eye on them as they will twist, create new rules and renege. NEVER TRUST THEM.

Trump is a chump. Punch them in the face first, then talk.

Greggg
Greggg

Trump turned out to be 1% performance and 99% Marketing.... except when it comes to kow towing to Israel. That's 100%.

Realist
Realist

Another ”mission accomplished” moment by the ”great negotiator”. What a joke this president is. I feel sorry for Americans.

Escierto
Escierto

Winning! So much winning! I am really getting tired of all this winning.

ML1
ML1

On promise of building a wall, in promise of making e-verify mandatory to stop employment of illegal immigrants, on deporting all criminal immigrants, on stopping birthright citizenship (insanity only USA has), on stopping H1B-visas and H2B-visas Trump has been 100% marketing. Trump is surrounded by incompetent people: -The rush of asylum seekers to USA lately was started by Kirstjen Nielsen running radio ads with US taxpayer funds in local radio in Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador and Nicaragua telling people NOT to come to USA unless they come to seek asylum. Predictably this got people to want to come because they started thinking they could ask for asylum. -Then Kirstjen Nielsen stated to Congress that USA welcomes people fleeing and stated that so ambigiously that this could be interpreted to mean fleeing gangs or even abusive spouses. -Once lots of people started coming Sessions incompetently started separating kids from their parents causing huge image victory for democrats and Trump was finally forced to end that barbaric practice. In reality Mexico is SAFE so USA could turn people back at the border and ports of entry and tell them to seek asylum in Mexico and immediately return illegal immigrants caught in USA side of the border back to Mexico. France is doing that with it's border with Italy and USA could turn EVERYONE back at the border since Mexico is SAFE enough. -Sessions "solution" is more judges and more bureaucracy which is idiotic since Mexico is SAFE for people from Guatemala, honduras, El Salvador etc. -Making matters worse is Obama era policy of interpreting that people claiming to flee gang violence or even abusive spouses should be given right to ask for asylum. This is a MOCKERY of Geneve Convention and it is also a MOCKERY of genuinely persecuted people around the world and MOCKERY of the memory of 6 millions jews killed that led to the writing of Geneve Convention. -Session stopped that crazy Obama policy but now Republicans who have majority on House Committee on Appropriations went along with democracts on a voice vote (no records) and led by Kansas Republican Kevin Yoder voted to again allow people claiming to flee gangs or people claiming to flee their abusive spouse be able to ask and possibly get asylum in USA. The whole idea that a Guatemalan woman in some town in Guatemala has an abusive husband and therefore "flees" through Guatemala and other countries like Mexico to get to USA and asks for asylum based on his abusive husband in some town in Guatemala is totally RIDICULOUS. But Kansas Republican Kevin Yoder thinks that it is perfectly normal to flee through several countries to USA to get away from your abusive husband instead of leaving your husband and moving to another Guatemala town. Also the idea that since for example El Salvador has violent gangs therefore people of El Salvador should get asylum in USA is equally RIDICULOUS. -The Republicans on House Committee on Appropriations led by Kansas Republican Yoder are crazy beyond words.

EndOFBabylon
EndOFBabylon

Two ELITES lying to each other and the WORLD...What could go wrong? When Anti Christ Trumps mouth is moving, he Lying? Having figured it out yet?