Frihandel i media vecka 30

Nyheterna domineras förstås totalt av mötet i Washingon mellan USA:s president Donald Trump, EU-kommissionens ordförande Jean-Claude Juncker och EU:s handelskommissionär Cecilia Malmström.

2018-07-26

Wall Street Journal (bakom betalvägg) skriver som vanligt långt och insatt:

”When Jean-Claude Juncker arrived at the White House on Wednesday, he had no idea how the meeting with President Donald Trump would end.

When asked on his flight from Brussels whether he was ready, after having pored through piles of documents stacked in blue folders, the European Commission president smiled and said: “No. We’ll have to see how it goes.”

Once Mr. Juncker entered the Oval Office, it was clear Mr. Trump was in a mood to negotiate, said a senior European Union official who was present. Mr. Trump, who typically entertains a question or two from reporters during Oval Office visits, took none, looking instead to dive into discussions with the visiting delegation from the EU’s executive arm.

What followed between the two leaders ushered in a potentially significant de-escalation of trade tensions between the U.S. and EU, after months in which the Trump administration had applied tariffs on European steel, and threatened more. The resulting agreement was vague, but the two sides agreed to pursue a range of possibilities—including increased U.S. exports of natural gas and soybeans—that might address the trans-Atlantic trade imbalance.

In recent international meetings, such as the Group of Seven summit in Canada, or the North Atlantic Treaty Organization summit in Brussels, Mr. Trump grabbed headlines with an argumentative approach. But on Wednesday, the American president was “charming, well-briefed” and “made an effort” to reach a deal with his European counterpart, the senior EU official said.

Mr. Juncker grabbed the opportunity to argue that both sides need to refrain from further punitive tariffs or they would foolishly harm themselves.

“If you want to be stupid,” he told Mr. Trump, “I can be stupid, as well.”

Backing up his points, Mr. Juncker flipped through more than a dozen colorful cue cards with simplified explainers, the senior EU official said. Each card had at most three figures about a specific topic, such as trade in cars or standards for medical devices.

“We knew this wasn’t an academic seminar,” the EU official said. “It had to be very simple.”

The Europeans had an ally on Mr. Trump’s team in White House, chief economic adviser Larry Kudlow. On Wednesday morning, before the meeting, he had told the television program “Fox & Friends,” “I just say, keep an open mind—you might be surprised by the outcome of this meeting.”

(—)

The main elements of the agreement that emerged had been floated by the Europeans, prodded by Germany, two months earlier in the hope that Mr. Trump would refrain from imposing tariffs on European steel and aluminum. Mr. Juncker said after the meeting that the agreement was significant because “we were never in a position to agree on these main elements before.”

Mr. Juncker said he trusts Mr. Trump to stick to the elements of the agreement. “We have a good personal relation,” he said.

Last week, Mr. Trump called the EU America’s “foe” and vowed “tremendous retribution” if his meeting with the EU officials didn’t lead to what he considers to be a fair auto-trade deal.

But his remarks in the Rose Garden struck a conciliatory tone. He mentioned nothing about deficits, trade imbalances or auto tariffs. Often focused on putting America first, he called for making “trade fairer and more reciprocal.”

After the announcement with Mr. Juncker, the president arrived victorious to a closed-door meeting with Republican lawmakers, said Rep. Mike Conaway of Texas, who attended. Lawmakers shared specific concerns with the president and said they were worried about farmers back home. Specifically, lawmakers talked about soybeans and cherries being held up at ports in China.

“He seemed legitimately concerned,” said Mr. Conaway, chair of the House agriculture committee. “He will keep negotiating.””

 

Även SvT rapporterar förstås:

”Jean-Claude Juncker och Donald Trump är överens. Efter mötet i Washington ska de nu arbeta för att avstyra handelskriget. Lösningen: USA ska exportera mer naturgas – och EU ska köpa ”massvis” med sojabönor.

Under onsdagen träffade EU-kommissionens ordförande Jean-Claude Juncker USA:s president Donald Trump i Washington. Syftet med mötet är att avstyra ett handelskrig, som resultat av den senaste tidens handelskonflikter.

EU:s handelskommissionär Cecilia Malmström närvarade också på mötet, som började 19.30 svensk tid. På mötet skulle de diskutera handelspolitiken mellan EU och USA, för att undvika att handelskonflikten eskalerar till ett handelskrig.

– Vi hoppas kunna komma överens om ett rättvist handelsavtal med Europa, säger Trump till Reuters.

– Vi är allierade, och vi måste samarbeta, säger Juncker.

På onsdag kväll säger Trump att han och Juncker är överens om att de ska arbeta för att avveckla tullarna. Han säger också att man kommer samarbeta för att reformera WTO.

Trump berättar också att de kommer att ”reducera barriärer” och öka handeln av en rad produkter.

Juncker uppger att båda parterna kommer att avstå från ytterligare tullavgifter under handelsförhandlingarnas gång.

Enligt uppgörelsen mellan Juncker och Trump kommer EU att börja köpa ”massvis” med sojabönor från USA, säger Trump. Det ska man börja göra ”nästan omgående”, enligt honom.

– EU kan importera mer sojabönor och det kommer att göras, säger Juncker.

Planen är också att USA ska exportera mer naturgas till EU.

Vid mötet lyfte Juncker vikten av samtal parterna emellan, och föreslog att de båda parterna skulle försöka reducera tullarna.

Trump menar att det vore bra om de båda kunde ta bort alla tullar som en del av diskussionerna, samtidigt som han påpekade att handeln mellan kontinenterna utgör mer än hälften av världshandeln.

Juncker har kritiserat USA:s tullar på aluminium- och stålprodukter som infördes 1 juni. EU svarade då med tullar på bland annat whiskey, apelsinjuice och motorcyklar. Trump har även hotat med 20-procentiga tullar på bilar som importeras till USA från EU-länder. Det vill EU undvika.

Skulle USA ändå införa biltullar kommer EU införa nya tullar på andra varor. Cecilia Malmström har sagt att EU förberett en lista på tullar på amerikanska varor, till ett värde av 20 miljarder dollar.

Två amerikanska senatorer – en demokrat och en republikan – lägger fram ett gemensamt förslag i syfte att skjuta Donald Trumps aviserade biltullavgifter på framtiden. Det rapporterar CNBC.

Förslaget går ut på att låta den amerikanska bilindustrin granskas av en amerikansk handelsmyndighet.

EU:s handelskommissionär Cecilia Malmström skriver om ”det viktiga mötet” med Juncker och Trump på Twitter:

”Vänder blad, överens om att underlätta handel mellan oss, tittar på nolltullar på industrivaror, energi och samarbete kring regleringar. Även intensifiera arbete med att reformera WTO”.”

Washington Post rapporterar från Bryssel: 

”BRUSSELS — European officials are struggling to make sense of what seems a temporary trade war truce between President Trump and the European Union, following the visit of E.U. leaders to Washington this week.

Trump and Jean-Claude Juncker, the president of the European Commission, announced Wednesday that they had agreed to work toward resolving disputes over steel and aluminum tariffs, delay proposed car tariffs and talk about a bilateral trade deal.

“Objectively this a good news, that we avoided so far tariffs on cars,” said a senior E.U. diplomat, who like many officials spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive internal discussions.

In capitals across Europe, a number of national officials echoed that sentiment, heralding the meeting as having prevented a trade war. German Finance Minister Peter Altmaier, for instance, called it a “breakthrough.” But others were wary, wondering whether it’s realistic to expect Europe to buy more soybeans from the United States, as Juncker signaled, or to become “a massive buyer” of U.S. liquefied natural gas, as Trump declared.

(—)

“TTIP was way too wide, and negotiations were stuck, as Americans were not keen to discuss greater access to their public procurements, while Europeans were reluctant on the U.S. importing more agricultural products,” said a European Commission official.

According to another diplomat, some countries fear that communicating a revival of TTIP could anger voters. From the beginning, the E.U.-U.S. trade proposal triggered resistance from social and environmental activists. Reopening talks during a Trump presidency could backfire, as the next elections for the European Parliament are scheduled for May 2019.”


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