Trump and top European leader agree to work toward zero tariffs


Breaking: President Trump and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker on Wednesday announced a limited deal to avoid a further escalation of trade tensions. In an unexpected press conference, the two leaders said the European Union would buy more soybeans and liquefied natural gas from the United States as the U.S. and E.U. work to eliminate tariffs on industrial goods. Existing tariff plans would be put on hold, they said, while the steel and aluminum tariffs that Trump imposed earlier this year would be reexamined. This story will be updated.


Good news, tentatively. Hope it works well for this country.

It might not be true anymore, but a year or two ago, I looked up American farm products allowed into Europe, and at the time the number one agricultural product from the U.S. to the EU was tree nuts. We produce megatons of grain and meat and their main import was tree nuts.


You mean, Trump may know how to negotiate.


If the government can make peace with the EU and effectively secure that trade front, it will be a very good thing for our economy… And an agreement with the EU might open up the possibility for this administration to get our allies’ cooperation regarding intellectual property on another front.


What a difference a day makes: yesterday the mouthpieces were ripping and tearing that President Trump was dooming the whole balance of trade. Ho hum.

I do wonder what it is about “tarriffs” that China had on American food. I thought the Chinese people were hard pressed for food? I admit that world trade is not an area that is all that clear to me.


Right. As soon as he was reminded as to who our creditors were.


Now Trump needs to make nice with our neighbors Canada and Mexico & end the steel and aluminum tariffs so he can focus on a truly consequential trade issue - in my opinion, the thrift of intellectual property.


I have a bridge, also some ocean front properly in Arizona.


It wasn’t very strategic of him to start a trade war with all of our trading partners at once. In my opinion, it is likely that President Jean-Claude Juncker realized (on behalf of Europe) that Trump had gotten himself in a pickle and wisely decided that Trump would be looking for a way out of his predicament. Frankly, I think Europe opened a door for him, and he scampered through it.

In my opinion, Rick Brandenburger, manager of agricultural product producer Richland IFC hit the nail on the head when he was interviewed about the impact of the trade war on the soybean industry:

Contessa Brewer, in Portland, N.D.: “Last week the administration admitted that there were no high level trade talks going on right now with China.”

Rick Brandenburger, manager of agricultural product producer Richland IFC, responds: “Oh, you’re serious. I was not aware of that. Wow,seriously? That’s interesting. So we are just going to close the door and walk away. Interesting. That’s not good. I don’t think that tariffs are ever a good thing for either side. I gotta believe that there are methods of working on differences without taking the hammer out.”


This could be true but it also could be true that Trump reasoned that Europe was in a very weak position and the ‘trade war’ would be over very quickly with part of the European capitulation being a greater resolve to buy American products, up their military spending and join the American administration in going after China.

I’d favour the second option because I do see Trump as a businessman who plays aggressively when the cards are in his favour and a European bloc who tend towards the protectionist, regulatory authoritarian side, though vulnerably dependent on America if all the cards are threatened to be played.


Trump is good in negotiations when he owes money, for sure.


I’m not sure we really know the overall food picture in China. It did achieve self-sufficiency, but at a terrible cost of nearly irreversible desertification in the northern part of the country. Also, the average Chinese “farm” is about a half acre…just a big garden, really, and the farmers eat most of what they produce. It’s a very hard life, and people are leaving the countryside by millions, which is one of the reasons China has built “ghost cities” to contain them.

China can buy food elsewhere in the world, but grain is a fungible commodity that’s traded worldwide, like oil. You might buy soybeans, for example, in Argentina, but they might be actually coming from the U.S.


This Wiki article provides a pretty good overview of the pciture.


Wow! That’s a relief. The actual pictures or interviews of real people are not allowed so there is no way to know for sure.

The referenced article claims they rank first in worldwide farm output - not too sure that one can be believed.


they also have the worlds largest population so i suppose it is concevable they can be number one in farm output yet still need to import food. i dont know the reality of the situation but this seems like a possible explination.


The 4 Countries That Produce the Most Food


Beat me to it.
On individual crops …

Not sure why this would be surprising.


Mnuchin’s comments on CNBC’s “Squawk Box” today: “We had a long negotiation session yesterday. We concluded an outline of an agreement, and now we’ll turn this into a real agreement,” he said


The U.S. actually has the most farm land, followed by India. China might be next. Not sure.

But U.S. farm land counts all the acres idled by government programs, and that’s a lot. And a lot of potential farm land that could be used for crops is, instead, used for pasture.

As I understand it, Chinese food production is dropping and will soon drop a lot more. It has squeezed a lot of the land so hard to gain self-sufficiency that it has ruined a lot of it. They irrigate a lot as well, and the water tables are dropping. And a lot of the most intensive farmers leave the land if they can get a job in industry somewhere.


I picked up the same thinking on the farming from varying articles. Also, something that is referred to as “ghost cities” have been created for the farming people that cannot sustain for themselves on small plots of land, like large gardens. They are leaving the farms to get the jobs in manufacturing. I do not back up this with facts - just talk.

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