National Public Radio (NPR) failed on Thursday to coax E.U. Ambassador David O’Sullivan into criticizing President Donald Trump’s trade policies after the president made another winning deal, setting the U.S. and Europe on the path to better trade relations.
“We want to further strengthen this trade relationship,” Trump said at a press conference at the White House Wednesday after meeting with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker. “We agreed today to work together toward zero tariffs, zero non-tariffs barriers, and zero subsidies on non-auto industrial goods.”
“We will also work to reduce barriers and increase trade in services, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, medical products, as well as soybeans,” Trump said. “The European Union is going to start almost immediately to buy a lot of soybeans.”
The agreement on soybeans could offset China’s efforts to harm U.S. farmers with tariffs, Breitbart News reported. China has been the largest market for U.S. soybeans.
“It will make trade fairer and more reciprocal,” Trump said. “This was a very big day for free and fair trade.”
But taxpayer-funded, left-wing National Public Radio (NPR) tried and failed to get E.U. Ambassador David O’Sullivan to trash Trump’s trade negotiations and the relationship between the E.U. and the U.S.
Morning Edition host Rachel Martin asked O’Sullivan on Thursday if the talks had “averted a trade war.”
“Well, I think we have managed to move from what could’ve been a negative feedback loop to a positive feedback loop,” O’Sullivan said. “We have averted the risk of additional escalation of the trade tensions between us, and, I think, set out a very positive agenda on which we will now work in in the coming weeks.”
“And the big takeaway to me was the very warm relationship between President Trump and President Juncker,” O’Sullivan said. “And the two men struck up a good relationship, which I think was what enabled this breakthrough yesterday, yes.”
Martin pressed on, asking if it would benefit the E.U. to import natural gas and soybeans. O’Sullivan answered with a short lesson on trade, economics, and geopolitics.
“Well, I think these are ultimately commercial decisions,” O’Sullivan said. “The European Union as such doesn’t purchase these commodities, nor even our member states.”
“We’re in market economies, so it’s consumers, and it’s companies that will buy them,” O’Sullivan said. “I think, on both points, the issues are the following.”
“On the natural gas, it has long been the policy of the European Union and the European Commission, led by President Juncker, to want to diversify our source of energy for the European Union,” O’Sullivan said. “We have an excessive dependence on one particular supplier, namely Russia.”
“So we have been putting in place pipelines, terminals to enable us to import gas from other sources,” O’Sullivan said. “And the United States is potentially a very positive source of that.”
“And we will continue to put that infrastructure in place and to make it more commercially interesting for those exports to take place,” O’Sullivan said.
“In the case of soya, we’re already big importers of soya,” O’Sullivan said. “But it is true that the recent trade tensions with China mean that China is purchasing less from the U.S., more from other sources of soya.”
“And therefore, European Union farmers are quite likely to buy much more from the United States,” O’Sullivan said. “So these are the positives which we were able to inject into these discussions yesterday.”
Martin felt it was relevant to point out that Trump said some trade practices between the U.S. and E.U. made the latter a “foe” to America’s interests.
“Just weeks ago, President Trump called Europe a foe of America when it comes to trade, which is extraordinary in one of America’s most important alliances,” Martin said. “Are you convinced that is no longer the case?
“Well, I think when the president used that term, he then went on to say, really, he meant an economic competitor,” O’Sullivan said. “So I think it was not intended in quite the way it might have been interpreted.”
“I think yesterday, President Juncker and President Trump were able to reach a positive dynamic of mutual understanding that there are huge potentials for increasing economic activity between the United States and the European Union, both in terms of trade and investment,” O’Sullivan said. “And that’s what they’ve mandated now their colleagues to work on with this working group, which will come together in the next few weeks.”
“And I think we have identified a number of very positive areas where we can make progress,” said O’Sullivan.
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