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U.S. President Donald Trump said on Wednesday the United States and the European Union were kicking off talks aimed at lowering trade barriers as officials looked to head off a brewing trade war.

"The US administration has already applied high tariffs to European Union steel and aluminium exports, and is embroiled in a trade war with China".

Juncker said the European Union already imports 35 percent of its natural gas from U.S. producers, but will work to buy more.

The sides will "hold off" on other tariffs while negotiations proceed, Juncker said, amid Trump's threat of new tariffs on cars and auto parts from the EU. "We have identified a number of areas on which to work together, work towards zero tariffs on industrial goods".

Juncker said the two sides also agreed to work together to reform the World Trade Organization, which Trump has vehemently criticized as being unfair to the U.S. In May, Trump abandoned a framework for trade negotiations with China within days of it being announced, before ratcheting up tariffs.

Trump told reporters it was a "very big day for free and fair trade" and vowed to "resolve the steel and aluminum tariff issues and we will resolve retaliatory tariffs".

Juncker said that he had gone into his Oval Office meeting with Trump with both parties intending to reach an agreement.

U.S. import tariffs of 25% on steel and 10% on aluminum imposed in March will remain in place during the talks, but Juncker added: 'It is the first time that the Americans agreed to reassess the measure that they have taken in the steel and aluminum sector'.

Trump also went after China, who he accused of being "vicious" with its counter-tariffs.

Cohen recording of pay-off talk broadcast on US TV
But, Giuliani went on to say that Trump told Cohen if he were to make a payment to use a check instead of cash. The audio is muffled, but can be heard saying to "pay with cash" and Cohen immediately says, "no, no".

"We know that the impact has been substantial enough that it has made the difference between whether there is a profit margin in some cases", Rotz said.

While the USA president can claim his aggressive approach is working, consumers, farmers and businesses are feeling the pain from the retaliatory measures imposed to counter the raft of U.S. tariffs on steel, aluminum, and tens of billions of dollars in products from China put in place in recent weeks.

The agreements come in the wake of heightened tensions between the U.S. and EU.

The Trump administration will reportedly give $12 billion in aid to farmers hurt by the tariffs.

Coming up: The US is also considering additional tariffs of more than $200bn on Chinese products, as well as duties on foreign cars and auto parts, which represent more than $300bn in annual trade.

Trump's expressed willingness to bend on steel and aluminum tariffs can be seen as a good sign for Canada, Ujczo said, since it suggests that Trump may again be willing to "lift the tariffs if there's progress on other trade fronts".

"We are here to explain and find out how to prevent a trade war", Juncker said in an interview with German public broadcaster ZDF before the meeting, adding that he's not overly optimistic.

On the other side, Democratic Senator Tammy Baldwin released a statement, saying the state of Wisconsin has already lost 500 dairy farmers in the a year ago.

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