President Donald Trump and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker spoke at the White House Wednesday to say they are negotiating a deal to end most tariffs, trade barriers, and industrial subsidies between Europe and the United States.
Trump said the meeting successfully launched a new phase in the U.S.’s relationship with the E.U., which Trump has characterized as a problem for the American economy. He said they made improvements on security and the economy, saying the economic reforms are those in which "both of us will win."
"I just want to conclude by saying this was a very big day for free and fair trade," Trump said. "A very big day, indeed."
Trump said he and Juncker are committed to strengthening the trade relationship between Americans and Europeans and to loosening trade restrictions.
"This is why we agreed today first of all to work together toward zero tariffs, zero non-tariff barriers and zero subsidies on non auto industrial goods," Trump said to applause. "We will also work to reduce barriers and increase trade in services, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, medical products as well as soybeans."
Juncker concurred and said the goal was bringing those tariffs to zero.
"When I was invited by the president to the White House, I had one intention. I had the intention to make a deal today, and we made a deal today," Juncker said. "We have identified a number of areas on which to work together, work towards zero tariffs on industrial goods. That was my main intention to propose to come down to zero tariffs on industrial goods. We’ve decided to strengthen our cooperation on energy."
Trump also touted the open markets he hoped to reach for Europeans to import food from the U.S.
"This will open markets for farmers, workers and increase investment and lead to prosperity in both the United States and the European Union," Trump said. "It will also make trade fairer and more reciprocal. My favorite word: reciprocal."
The president said Europeans can diversify their energy supply through trade with the United States. He went on to say the U.S. and E.U. will work to reform the World Trade Organization (WTO) and address unfair trade practices from other countries, an apparent reference to China's practices.
"From the standpoint of the United States, we have never done this well, but we're going to do better after we do this deal and other deals that we are currently working on. Likewise, the European Union is going to do better, stronger, bigger," Trump said. "We will therefore, work closely together with like-minded partners to reform the WTO and to address unfair trading practices including intellectual property theft, forced technology transfer, industrial subsidies, distortions created by state-owned enterprises, and overcapacity."