>> This was a very big day for free and fair trade, very big day indeed.>> A cease fire in the trans Atlantic trade war. President Trump and the head of the European union step back from the brink and work to lower trade barriers between the worlds two largest economies.
Putting off for now the tit for tat tariffs that threaten to slow global trade. I'm Andy Sullivan in Washington, where Trump and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker appear to have found common ground. The surprise announcement in the Rose Garden laying out the broad strokes of a possible agreement that could ease economic tensions.
The EU would agree to buy more soy beans and natural gas from the United States when both sides say they'll work to dismantle the tariffs that they recently put in place. It's a dramatic turnabout, earlier in the day the two sides appeared ready to escalate their dispute.>> I had one intention, I had the intention to make a deal today.
And remains a deal. Today, we have identified a number of areas from which to work together.>> Since taking office, Trump has framed trade as a zero sum game. Earlier this year slapping tariffs on imported steel and aluminium. The EU responding with duties on American bourbon and motorcycles, both had readied a next round.
Trump targeting European automobiles. The EU are looking at farm products, machinery, and high tech. Economists surveyed by Reuters say rising trade tensions will slow the red hot US economy in the coming months. General Motors warning that trade tensions could hurt profits. Trump's tariffs have already forced it to pay more for steel and aluminum.
The White House is planning to boost US farm subsidies by more than 50% to help farmers who are facing higher barriers in foreign markets, as countries like China respond to Trump's moves. All of this isn't written in stone. There's still a lot to work out, and a lot that could go wrong.
But it's giving Trump some grounds to say that his confrontational approach to global trade is yielding results, even as the possible downsides appear increasingly clear.