President Trump met with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker at the White House Wednesday, as tensions remain high over tariffs.
Trump said he expected "something very positive to take place" during the White House talks - after sending a series of tweets blasting Europe for unfair treatment of U.S. exports.
John Thune, a South Dakota GOP senator who is generally more Trump-friendly, told reporters at the Capitol that the $12 billion Band-aid is an 'acknowledgement that it has a lot of unintended consequences and creates a lot of collateral damage'. In addition to tariffs on aluminum and steel, Trump has imposed tariffs on washing machines, solar panels and a wide range of Chinese products.
"I came to make a deal, and we made a deal today", Juncker said on Wednesday at the White House.
It is unclear what Mr Trump's approach will be in the talks.
Trump's tariffs have been criticized by business leaders and members of Congress who say they could hurt companies that use steel and aluminum in their manufacturing and raise prices for consumers. Trump hailed "a new phase" of trade relations.
He said they made improvements on security and the economy, saying the economic reforms are those in which "both of us will win".
Trump greets EU chief, says US seeks 'level playing field' on trade
His comments came after his administration announced a plan to provide 12 billion dollars (£9 billion) in emergency relief for farmers who have been hit by the president's trade disputes with China and other countries. "Are they truly going to get us a solution that will make things better?"
To help reduce some of the pain inflicted by a burgeoning trade war between the USA and its traditional economic allies, the Trump administration on Tuesday announced an aid package worth $12 billion for farmers who've been hurt by the tariffs. "We have identified a number of areas on which to work together, work towards zero tariffs on industrial goods".
"Obviously the European Union, as represented by @JunckerEU and the United States, as represented by yours truly, love each other!" he wrote.
Perdue described the measures, which do not require congressional approval, as a one-time, short-term effort to give Trump more leverage to negotiate an end to trade disputes with China, Canada, Mexico, the European Union and others. If not, the European Commission is preparing quite a long list of many American products. The problem is, they haven't been getting good prices because of the restrictions of other countries in place on their productivity. A formal proposal would only come after the US Commerce Department completed its investigation into whether vehicle imports threaten national security.
Farmers have been a particular target in the current clash over trade policy as other countries seek to retaliate for USA duties on Chinese goods as well as on steel and aluminum imports from the European Union, Canada and Mexico.
"It is past time we take strong, defensive action to protect America's lead in technology and innovation" he said.
The moves drew howls from European capitals, and prompted of retaliatory tariffs on USA -made bourbon whiskey and motorcycles.
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