Steel and Aluminum Tariffs Under Section 232
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We met right here at the White House to launch a new phase in the relationship between the United States and the European Union — a phase of close friendship; of strong trade relations in which both of us will win; of working better together for global security and prosperity; and of fighting jointly against terrorism. This is why we agreed today, first of all, to work together toward zero tariffs, zero non-tariff barriers, and zero subsidies on non-auto industrial goods. We will also work to reduce barriers and increase trade in services, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, medical products, as well as soybeans. Soybeans is a big deal. And the European Union is going to start, almost immediately, to buy a lot of soybeans — they’re a tremendous market — buy a lot of soybeans from our farmers in the Midwest, primarily. So I thank you for that, Jean-Claude. This will open markets for farmers and workers, increase investment, and lead to greater prosperity in both the United States and the European Union. It will also make trade fairer and more reciprocal. My favorite word: “reciprocal.”
Secondly, we agreed today to a strengthen and strengthening of our strategic cooperation with respect to energy. The European Union wants to import more liquefied natural gas — LNG — from the United States, and they’re going to be a very, very big buyer. We’re going to make it much easier for them, but they’re going to be a massive buyer of LNG, so they’ll be able to diversify their energy supply, which they want very much to do. And we have plenty of it.
Thirdly, we agreed today to launch a close dialogue on standards, in order to ease trade, reduce bureaucratic obstacles, and slash costs dramatically.
Fourthly, we agreed to join forces to protect American and European companies from better — and really better than ever — we’ve never done like we’re doing. I can say, from the standpoint of the United States, we’ve never done this well, but we’re going to do a lot better after we do this deal and other deals that we’re currently working on. Likewise, the European Union is going to do better, stronger, bigger. We will therefore work closely together with like-minded partners to reform the WTO and to address unfair trading practices, including intellectual property theft, forced technology transfer, industrial subsidies, distortions created by state-owned enterprises, and overcapacity.
We decided to set up immediately an Executive Working Group of very intelligent people on both sides. They’ll be our closest advisors, and they’re going to carry out this joint agenda. In addition, it will identify short-term measures to facilitate commercial exchanges and assess existing tariff measures and what we can do about that to the betterment of both.
While we are working on this, we will not go against the spirit of this agreement, unless either party terminates the negotiation. So we’re starting the negotiation right now, but we know very much where it’s going. We also will resolve the steel and aluminum tariff issues, and we will resolve retaliatory tariffs. We have some tariffs that are retaliatory. And that will get resolved as part of what we’re doing.