Copyright: British Broadcasting Corporation

President Trump and Jean-Claud Junker have struck a trade deal to help try and create an ‘area’ of no tariffs or subsidies and reached an ”understanding”. Still far from what Trump wanted though..

“We agreed today, first of all, to work together towards zero tariffs, zero non-tariff barriers, and zero subsidies on non-auto industrial goods,” said Mr Trump, with Mr Juncker by his side.

Japan gets an EU trade deal, USA gets an EU trade deal, Britain gets No Deal and a £39 billion bill…

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  1. Bilateral free trade between the US and one of its trading partners is a great thing. If Trump threatening totally unfree trade gets us to totally free trade, I will be confused but content. The thing for Theresa May to do now is to ring up Trump and plead, “Us too!” This immediately secures a buyer for British goods, and a fine food supply if British farming should entirely seize up despite facts and common sense, and an immediate end to Remainers arguing that Brexit means ruinous 40% tariffs.

  2. If Trump threatening totally unfree trade gets us to totally free trade, I will be confused but content.

    As I keep saying, when it comes to the Donald you have to keep your eye on the long game. Trump’s yuge tarrifs weren’t about protectionism or trade deficits. Not really. Yes, that was he said on Twitter, but that was misdirection. He has hinted several times what his real goal was – a level playing field between the EU and the US. The EU has, in several areas such as automobiles, far higher tariffs on US goods than the US has on EU goods. Trump wanted that changed. The tariffs were a way of weaponising trade, of using trade as a really big stick to beat the EU into compliance. And it’s looking as if it may have worked.

    • I generally agree. But valuing what Trump “has hinted” over what “he said on Twitter” and over the actions in the opposite direction he has taken, requires either mind-reading or faith. I don’t believe his core goal is free trade. Personal domination of rivals, discovering a weapon he can wield without Congress, and showing he is on the side of American assemblers/farmers desiring barriers to competition, are at least competing goals. Regarding whether it “may have worked,” see Rhoda below. It has worked to get Juncker to concede to Trump as alpha male. That’s all we know so far.

      • You may well be correct that his core goal is not free trade. At least, not free trade in and of itself, the way it is for the likes of us. He has said numerous times, since before the election, that the trade situation was unbalanced and unfair, and that he wanted to put that right. Free trade is an easy way to level that playing field.

        He does seem to have the EU over a barrel a bit. He gave them the option of mutual free trade or swingeing tariffs. They demurred, so tariffs it was. Now he’s repeating the offer. It’ll be interesting to see which way the EU jumps.

  3. If this works out, along with the EU’s Japan deal, then the EU is starting to dismantle the customs union.
    I wonder if remainers will even notice?

  4. This is part of a move by Trump to see how far the EU will go towards free trade. They will bluster and prevaricate but they won’t open the doors to, for instance, US farming. ‘Agreement to work towards’ is worthless.

    • Indeed – we already see the French saying that it can’t include agriculture – not because the French farmers are miking the CAP for all it’s worth, oh no, it’s because of safety and environmental reasons.


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