US, EU to avoid further tariffs, boost European soybean imports

The United States and European Union will hold off on imposing further tariffs on each other, following an announcement Wednesday.

President Donald Trump and EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker announced that they had reached an agreement on how to move forward with a trade relationship.

The U.S. and EU will work together toward “zero tariffs, zero non-tariff barriers, and zero subsidies on non-auto industrial goods,” Trump said.

He also said the European Union will increase imports of soybeans, one of Missouri’s top global exports, and liquefied natural gas.

The announcement suggests Trump has backed off plans to impose tariffs on European automobiles. He had threatened a 25 percent auto tariff if the meeting didn’t go well, prompting threats of retaliation by the EU.

It follows one day after the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced plans to authorize up to $12 billion in aid for farmers struggling with retaliatory tariffs.

Kelly Smith, the Missouri Farm Bureau’s marketing and commodities director, said the effects of tariffs have already been visible in the drops in corn and soybean prices. Smith noted that soybean prices have dropped by more than $2 per bushel.

Smith stressed that the particulars of the aid program have not yet been released, so it is difficult to say how exactly it will impact Missouri farmers.

“I think every farmer would just as soon have the tariffs taken away,” he said.

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