‘No Weakness!’, Trump Shrieks, Ahead Of Key Trade Meeting With E.U.’s Juncker

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom have the misfortune of being in Washington on Wednesday to meet with Donald Trump and expectations are anything but high.

“We are here to explain and find out how to prevent a trade war,” Juncker told German TV channel ZDF, ahead of the meeting.

“In my opinion we don’t need more tariffs but to calm down the overall situation,” he continued, before cautioning that the E.U. is in fact prepared to hit back at Trump “immediately” if he moves ahead with the auto tariffs. Juncker also attempted to emphasize that the E.U. “isn’t a ‘foe’ of the U.S.”, as Trump suggested in an interview with CBS’s Jeff Glor earlier this month.

Last week, both Trump and Larry Kudlow  indicated that Juncker was coming to town with some kind of deal in hand, but that looks like wishful thinking.

For his part, Budget Commissioner Guenther Oettinger said the E.U. would discuss cutting tariffs on all products in all sectors if the U.S. lifted its existing tariffs. That, after Trump’s Tuesday night tweet in which the President echoed his unrealistic (and profoundly disingenuous) proclamation from the G-7 meeting in Canada, where he declared that everyone should lift all tariffs across the board.

“We are in the middle of a trade dispute that could quickly escalate into a trade war”, Oettinger said on Wednesday, on the way to saying that the E.U. isn’t going to be bullied:

We mustn’t show weakness. We must show that we can act in the same way. There is a whole host of products from the U.S. that come to us on which we could levy higher tariffs.

Hours later, Trump took to Twitter to declare that he too will show “No weakness!”

On Tuesday, the U.S. government announced a $12 billion bailout program for American farmers hurt by China’s retaliatory tariffs. It was widely panned by Republican lawmakers and farmers alike.

Finally, Trump expanded a bit on his message from Tuesday when, while speaking at an event for veterans, he suggested that farmers needed to “be patient”. On Wednesday morning, the President blamed other countries for “snipping at his heels” and undercutting the prospects for “unity”.

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2 thoughts on “‘No Weakness!’, Trump Shrieks, Ahead Of Key Trade Meeting With E.U.’s Juncker

  1. This is a dream come true! I keep fantasizing of Jean-Claude staggering into the Oval Office and doing a face-plant in the middle of the room.

  2. “No weakness”. Trump, speaking in Helsinki after his first summit with his russian BF Vlad, showed how really passively strong he is.

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