Trump's trade policy seems to be working at cross purposes

Trump administration announces $12 billion 'bailout' for farmers

Trump greets EU chief, says US seeks 'level playing field' on trade

For example, U.S. Rep. Andy Barr, a Kentucky Republican, said he told White House advisers that Wednesday's announcement about the Trump-Juncker agreement "was a positive sign and we appreciate the administration lowering the temperature with the European Union".

The American Farm Bureau, local trade associations, and groups representing soybean, cotton, sorghum, milk, and pork producers issued statements after the Department of Agriculture announced the $12 billion farm aid program.

"We want to avoid a further escalation of the trade dispute (into) a trade war", Oettinger told German broadcaster Deutschlandfunk.

Juncker said he flat out rejected such a move, "cognizant of the situation in Europe, not only in France but also in Belgium, in Ireland, also in Luxembourg and anywhere else", he added.

Trump has imposed import tariffs on steel and aluminum and threatened to extend them to cars before US midterm elections on November 6 that will determine whether the Republican Party retains control of Congress.

Mr Trump has placed tariffs on imported steel and aluminium, saying they pose a threat to United States national security, an argument that the European Union and Canada rejects.

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Donald Trump and European Union officials on Wednesday agreed to work towards zero tarffis on non-auto industrial goods and reduce trade barriers.

The United States and European Union are locked in a trade dispute stemming from Trump's decision to impose steep tariffs on US imports of steel and aluminium.

"We agreed today to join forces to protect American and European companies better from unfair global trade practices".

The president has repeatedly called the European Union - which includes numerous US's oldest and most committed allies - an unfair trading partner and even labelled it a "foe".

"We have the groundwork laid and I hope to resolve that very quickly".

Trump is keeping the promises he made the American people by standing up for USA farmers and workers and engaging in hard negotiations with other world leaders, Conway insisted.

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The "deal" is short on details and commitments, but includes talks meant to eliminate tariffs on industrial goods.

The EU will buy United States soybeans and natural gas from the U.S. with levies on steel and aluminium imports to remain in place in the wake of the visit.

Agriculture secretary Sonny Perdue said: "This is a short-term solution that will give President Trump and his administration the time to work on long-term trade deals", as administration officials argued that the plan was not a "bailout" of the nation's farmers. Daniel Ikenson, director of trade studies at the libertarian Cato Institute, warned that the fight could flare up again if Trump grows impatient with Europe.

The tariffs came in response to $34 billion worth of duties the Trump administration placed on Chinese products.

Prices of steel have been buoyed by a 25% tariff on the metal.

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