4:18 P.M. EDT
PRESIDENT TRUMP: Thank you very much. Appreciate it. And I appreciate all of our great senators and so many of our representatives for being here.
Senator John Boozman. John, you’re here someplace. Hi, John. Thank you. Senator Mike Crapo. Thank you, Mike. Senator Steve Daines. Senator Hoeven. Thank you. They’re all here. Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith. Cindy, thank you very much. Senator James Lankford. James. Thank you, James. Senator Pat Roberts. He loves those farms. He loves the farmers, like I do.
Representative Diane Black. Diane, thank you. Representative Kevin Brady, with our new tax bill. How’s it coming, Kevin? Good? Representative Mike Conaway. Mike. Thank you, Mike. Representative Dan Newhouse. Thank you, Dan. Representative Kristi Noem. I have to call her “Governor” now. That was a great win. Thank you, Kristi. Representative David Reichert. David, thank you.
So we had a big day. Very big. We met right here at the White House to launch a new phase in the relationship between the United States and the European Union — a phase of close friendship; of strong trade relations in which both of us will win; of working better together for global security and prosperity; and of fighting jointly against terrorism.
The United States and the European Union together count for more than 830 million citizens and more than 50 percent of the global GDP. In other words, together, we’re more than 50 percent of trade. If we team up, we can make our planet a better, more secure, and more prosperous place.
Already today, the United States and the European Union have a $1 trillion bilateral trade relationship — the largest economic relationship anywhere in the world. We want to further strengthen this trade relationship to the benefit of all American and European citizens.
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. (Applause.) Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.
We will also work to reduce barriers and increase trade in services, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, medical products, as well as soybeans. Soybeans is a big deal. And the European Union is going to start, almost immediately, to buy a lot of soybeans — they’re a tremendous market — buy a lot of soybeans from our farmers in the Midwest, primarily. So I thank you for that, Jean-Claude.
This will open markets for farmers and workers, increase investment, and lead to greater prosperity in both the United States and the European Union. It will also make trade fairer and more reciprocal. My favorite word: “reciprocal.”
Secondly, we agreed today to a strengthen and strengthening of our strategic cooperation with respect to energy. The European Union wants to import more liquefied natural gas — LNG — from the United States, and they’re going to be a very, very big buyer. We’re going to make it much easier for them, but they’re going to be a massive buyer of LNG, so they’ll be able to diversify their energy supply, which they want very much to do. And we have plenty of it.
Thirdly, we agreed today to launch a close dialogue on standards, in order to ease trade, reduce bureaucratic obstacles, and slash costs dramatically.
Fourthly, we agreed to join forces to protect American and European companies from better — and really better than ever — we’ve never done like we’re doing. I can say, from the standpoint of the United States, we’ve never done this well, but we’re going to do a lot better after we do this deal and other deals that we’re currently working on.
Likewise, the European Union is going to do better, stronger, bigger. 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.
We decided to set up immediately an Executive Working Group of very intelligent people on both sides. They’ll be our closest advisors, and they’re going to carry out this joint agenda. In addition, it will identify short-term measures to facilitate commercial exchanges and assess existing tariff measures and what we can do about that to the betterment of both.
While we are working on this, we will not go against the spirit of this agreement, unless either party terminates the negotiation. So we’re starting the negotiation right now, but we know very much where it’s going.
We also will resolve the steel and aluminum tariff issues, and we will resolve retaliatory tariffs. We have some tariffs that are retaliatory. And that will get resolved as part of what we’re doing.
And with that, Jean-Claude, please.
PRESIDENT JUNCKER: Mr. President, ladies and gentlemen, 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.
We have identified a number of areas on which to work together. Work towards zero tariffs on industrial goods. And 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. The EU will build more terminals to import liquefied natural gas from the U.S. This is also a message for others.
We agreed to establish a dialogue on standards. As far as agriculture is concerned, the European Union can import more soybeans from the U.S., and it will be done. And we also agreed to work together on the reform of the WTO. This, of course, is on the understanding that as long as we are negotiating, unless one party would stop the negotiations, we will hold off further tariffs, and we will reassess existing tariffs on steel and aluminum.
This was a good, constructive meeting. Thank you, Donald. (Applause.)
PRESIDENT TRUMP: Well, thank you very much, Jean-Claude. And I just want to conclude by saying this was a very big day for free and fair trade. A very big day indeed.
Thank you very much, everybody. Thank you. Thank you. (Applause.)
4:27 P.M. EDT