German ministers welcomed an initiative agreed between U.S. President Donald Trump and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker to ease the threat of a trade war, with one describing it as a breakthrough and another saying it had won the EU time.
Trump also said the European Union had agreed to buy "a lot of soybeans" and increase its imports of liquefied natural gas from the U.S. And the two agreed to resolve a dispute over U.S. tariffs on steel and aluminum.
The US and European Union will "hold off on other tariffs" while negotiations proceed, Mr Juncker said.
U.S. Department of Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross discusses President Trump's successful meeting with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker over trade.
As he headed into the meeting, Mr. Trump shrugged off intense criticism from business leaders, farmers and his own GOP lawmakers that he was igniting a trade war that hurts the USA economy. "We agreed today to work together towards zero tariffs, zero non-tariff barriers and zero subsidies on non-auto industrial goods".
The aid is meant to protect the industry as countries raise taxes on United States products such as soybeans in response to the president's new tariffs.
While Beijing courted Europe to take its side against the United States on the trade front during high-level meetings earlier this month, Europe continues to share USA concerns about Chinese industrial policies such as its "Made in China 2025" plan to leapfrog into a technological superpower, said Julian Evans-Pritchard, senior China economist at London consultancy Capital Economics.
Sen. Ben Sasse (R-NE) said the punitive trade measures are "cutting the legs out from under farmers".
Trump is facing calls from his own party to back down on the tariffs, particularly after the administration announced Tuesday that it will grant up to $12 billion in aid to farmers hurt by retaliatory tariffs. Trump had threatened to tax imported cars, trucks and auto parts, potentially targeting imports that previous year totaled $335 billion.
The Trump administration is preparing a plan to provide billions of dollars in emergency aid to farmers who have been hurt by tariffs.
Northeast Wisconsin farmers will soon see part of $12 billion worth of tariff relief, in response to trade issues with countries like China. He echoed President Trump and efforts to strengthen energy cooperation and importation of LNG.
The Commission briefed European Union countries last week on the bloc's possible response to auto tariffs, saying in theory it could hit 9 billion euros of USA goods, according to European Union sources.
Farm groups generally have stood by Trump during the trade war although anxiety has begun to rise in farm country.
The EU is stepping in to ease some of USA farmers' pain.
In a speech on July 24, Trump told supporters that his predecessors are to blame for the existing deals, which he called a "disaster. Hope they do it, we are ready - but they won't!"
Trump agreed: "I think if we could have no tariffs and no barriers and no subsidies, then the USA would be very pleased".
The deal eases tensions stoked by Trump's threat to impose new tariffs on auto imports.
China is the biggest importer of United States soybeans.
"And the European Union is going to start, nearly immediately, to buy a lot of soybeans", Trump told reporters after the meeting.
"Instead of throwing money at a problem we've helped create, the better option is to take action to make it easier for our farmers - and manufacturers - to sell their goods at fair prices to consumers around the world".