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US and EU reach deal to calm trade war fears – as it happened

Donald Trump and Jean-Claude Juncker have agreed to work together to lower trade barriers, in an apparent breakthrough in the trade dispute


And finally, here’s our Washington bureau chief David Smith on today’s trade breakthrough:

Donald Trump and European Union officials appeared to step back from a trade war on Wednesday as they struck a deal to work toward “zero” tariffs, barriers and subsidies.

“We had a big day, very big,” the US president said in the White House rose garden, standing alongside Jean-Claude Juncker, the European Commission president, adding that there was a “new phase” in US-EU relations.

Related: Trump and EU officials strike ‘zero tariff’ deal to avert trade war

BOOM! Facebook shares drop more than 20% in after-hours trading on revenue growth forecast. @technology

Europe’s commitment to import a lot more liquified natural gas from America is quite interesting.

During his visit to Europe this month, Donald Trump blasted Germany for signing up to a new natural gas pipeline link with Russia called Nord Stream 2.

Related: Germany and Russia gas links: Trump is not only one to ask questions

Idea of significantly more LNG shipments to EU absurd. It is not price competitive with piped gas. In TTIP we had already agreed to eliminate 97pc of tariffs including all industrial tariffs — nothing new there though Trump of course will take credit.

I came, I talked, I got a deal, says Juncker on Twitter:

I came for a deal, we made a deal. The EU continues to stand up for free and fair trade. My joint statement with @realDonaldTrump:

Here’s a video clip of presidents Juncker and Trump announcing they have agreed to work together on trade:

The United States and the European Union have a $1 TRILLION bilateral trade relationship – the largest economic relationship in the world. We want to further strengthen this trade relationship to the benefit of all American and European citizens…

European trade commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom says Washington and Brussels have “turned a page” in their relationship.

Important meeting at the White House today with @JunckerEU and @realDonaldTrump. Turning a page, agreed to facilitate trade between us, looking at zero tariffs on industrial goods, energy and regulatory cooperation. Also intensify work on reform of WTO.

Beijing may be looking at tonight’s deal nervously, says Reuters Noah Barkin:

This will be deeply unsettling for China. The first sign that the EU & US might resolve their trade spat and significantly lower bilateral barriers. Early days but that could ultimately mean a tag-team approach towards Beijing. If Trump sticks to this. Big if

European Commission vice-president Jyrki Katainen has hailed the apparent breakthrough:

I’m delighted that Presidents Juncker & Trump agreed that that the EU & US will work together: 1) towards a trade agreement with zero #tariffs, zero non tariff barriers, & zero subsidies in non auto industrial goods, 2) to reform the #WTO to address unfair trade practices, 1/2

Joint EU/US trade statement – at first sight looks to me like an agreement mainly to have further talks, with an implied standstill on any escalation of trade disputes:

Trump says EU/US will work towards end of tariff, non-tariff barriers plus no subsidies. That’s what you call a trade deal, which he recently walked away from.

Trump two-step continues:
Nato summit: bluster then retreat
May’s Brexit strategy: bluster, retreat
Helsinki: bluster, retreat
EU trade wars: bluster, retreat

Do you think there’s a trend here?

The Europeans are playing it smart. They signed trade deals with China, Japan and now are avoiding a trade war with the US.

Jean-Claude Juncker told reporters that he had a “good and constructive meeting” with Donald Trump.

He added that the two sides had agreed not to impose any new tariffs while talks were taking place.

Donald Trump also sounds optimistic following his talks with Juncker today.

He tells reporters in Washington that the two side have agreed to work together to lower trade barriers

“This was a very big day for free and fair trade, a very big day indeed.”

“This was a very big day for free and fair trade, very big day indeed,” Trump says after making a joint statement on reaching a trade deal with the EU’s Juncker #tictocnews

“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,

The EC says it has launched a “new phase” in its relationship with the US today.

It is:

….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.

It’s official: The European Union and the United States have reached an agreement that may calm fears of a trade war between the two sides.

The breakthrough was reached during Jean-Claude Juncker’s talks with Donald Trump at the White House. The two side have agreed to work together to lower trade barriers, and towards eliminating some tariffs.

First of all, to work together toward zero tariffs, zero non-tariff 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.

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.

US shares have jumped in late trading, following the report that Europe has made some trade concessions.

The Dow surged by 150 points, on hopes that a trade war can be averted.

Stocks jumped to daily highs after President Trump reportedly obtained concessions from the E.U. to avoid a trade war.

NEWSFLASH: The Dow Jones newswire is reporting that Jean-Claude Juncker has proposed some concessions to Donald Trump at their talks today.

It says the Europeans have “agreed to lower industrial tariffs” and also to “iimport more U.S. soybeans”.

Sky News have a video clip of Donald Trump and Jean-Claude Juncker’s remarks at the White House earlier:

The president of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker has told @realDonaldTrump the US and EU are “allies, not enemies” as he arrived at the White House for trade talks

For more from the US visit:

Donald Trump and Jean-Claude Juncker have now vanished off for their trade talks.

The two leaders appeared quite friendly as they sat side by side in the Oval Office. At one stage, Trump even reached over to give Juncker a friendly tap on the thigh.

Dow turns positive amid Europe trade deal hopes, rise in tech stocks

President Juncker thanks Donald Trump for inviting him to the White House for talks on trade.

America and Europe are close partners and allies, not enemies, he says, so we have to work together. [reminder, Trump recently claimed the EU was a ‘foe’ when it comes to trade].

Donald Trump began by complimenting Jean-Claude Juncker on the way he represents EU citizens.

We are looking for a fair trade deal, and hopefully we can sort something out, Trump tells reporters at the White House.

Newsflash: European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker has declared that America and Europe are “friends, not enemies’, as he sits down with Donald Trump for talks on trade.

Juncker to Trump: „We‘re friends, not enemies.“

Trump about Juncker: He is a very smart and a very tough guy.

There’s a media scrum at the White House as reporters prepare to hear from presidents Juncker and Trump.

Auf dem Weg ins Oval Office werden alle Journalisten zu Disziplin, Ruhe und Ordnung aufgefordert. #Trump #Juncker

Donald Trump limbered up for his talks with Jean-Claude Juncker over trade today, by declaring he would show “No weakness”.

Every time I see a weak politician asking to stop Trade talks or the use of Tariffs to counter unfair Tariffs, I wonder, what can they be thinking? Are we just going to continue and let our farmers and country get ripped off? Lost $817 Billion on Trade last year. No weakness!

When you have people snipping at your heels during a negotiation, it will only take longer to make a deal, and the deal will never be as good as it could have been with unity. Negotiations are going really well, be cool. The end result will be worth it!

Now this is interesting…

Donald Trump’s top economic advisor, Larry Kudlow, has told Fox News he held constructive talks with EU officials over trade yesterday.

#Trump advisor Larry #Kudlow told Fox he met with EU senior staff, “including #Juncker’s right hand man, for a long time yesterday,” adding “they have a positive attitude; so do we. Expectations are so low, people may be very surprised by the outcome.” 1 on 1 to start in 1 hour.

In London, the FTSE 100 index of top shares has fallen 50 points, or 0.66% today, to close at 7658.

Chinese president Xi has fired a warning to the White House not to launch a global trade war.

“Unilateralism and protectionism are mounting, dealing a severe blow to multilateralism and the multilateral trading regime”.

China is targeting our farmers, who they know I love & respect, as a way of getting me to continue allowing them to take advantage of the U.S. They are being vicious in what will be their failed attempt. We were being nice – until now! China made $517 Billion on us last year.

Motor racing chief Jean Todt, who ran the Ferrari Formula 1 team for several years, says Sergio Marchionne was a “visionary leader”.

Todt, now president of the FIA (Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile), writes:

“It is with great sadness that I learned that Sergio Marchionne tragically and unexpectedly passed away. Sergio achieved a colossal amount for the automotive industry and motor sport worldwide. He dedicated himself fully to turn around the FIAT-Chrysler group and put all his energy to bring Scuderia Ferrari back to the top.

He was an endearing, upstanding and brave man, an unconventional and visionary leader. He was an eminent member of the FIA F1 Strategy Group and of the FIA High-Level Panel for Road Safety. His death is a considerable loss.

Sergio achieved a colossal amount for the automotive industry and motor sport worldwide. He was an endearing, upstanding and brave man, an unconventional and visionary leader.
My tribute to Sergio Marchionne:

Another carmarker, General Motors, has spooked the markets by slashing its profit forecasts.

Our operating performance was impacted by significant headwinds from commodity costs and currency devaluations in South America.

For the rest of the year we will focus on flawlessly executing our full-size truck launches and continue managing the business with discipline in a more challenging environment.”

Italy’s Cgil union has given a guarded tribute to Sergio Marchionne, reports Associated Press:

The Cgil union, Italy’s most powerful, praised Marchionne for having “saved a dying company.” But it faulted him for having failed to negotiate with “an important sector of Italian workers,” which it said created conflict and divisions that are still being felt.

Cgil’s Fiom metalworkers union clashed with Marchionne over changes he brought to Italian plants to increase productivity.

Ford’s executive chairman, Bill Ford, says the auto industry will miss Sergio Marchionne badly:

“Sergio Marchionne was one of the most respected leaders in the industry whose creativity and bold determination helped to restore Chrysler to financial health and grow Fiat Chrysler into a profitable global automaker.

His extraordinary leadership, candor and passion for the industry will be missed by everyone who knew him. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family at this difficult time.”

The plunge in Fiat Chrysler’s share price can’t be directly attributed to Sergio Marchionne’s death.

His long stint as CEO actually ended last weekend, when the company announced his resignation following complications after shoulder surgery. Plus, Marchionne was already expected to step down next year.

Shares in Fiat Chrysler have tumbled almost 10% at the start of trading in New York, after the firm cut its profit and revenue forecasts for this year.

Fiat Chrysler continues pre-market drop at the open, falling more than 9.5% in early trading

Here’s our news story on Sergio Marchionne’s death:

Related: Sergio Marchionne, ‘saviour’ of Fiat and Chrysler, dies aged 66

Over in Turin, Fiat Chrysler has lowered its flags to half-mast today, as a sign of respect to Silvio Marchionne.

Ana Nicholls, Director of Industry Operations at the Economist Intelligence Unit, says the business world has lost one of its “greatest turnaround managers”.

“The death of Sergio Marchionne marks the passing of one of the greatest turnaround managers of the past century. His legacy is impressive: in saving both Fiat and Chrysler through clever deal-making and sheer hard work he not only ensured the survival two of the most venerable names in the auto industry, but also saved the jobs of tens of thousands of people.

The difficulty is understanding what comes next for FCA. Mr Marchionne famously said there was no script for after his departure and the new CEO, Mike Manley, is having to start improvising more quickly than expected. The departure of the group’s EMEA head, Alfredo Altavilla, on Monday will make his job that bit harder, as will the escalating global trade war. As a Chrysler insider and the head of Jeep, Mr Manley is unlikely to want to follow through on previous rumours that FCA would spin off Jeep, or even sell the whole company.

Instead, he will probably continue to put Jeep at the centre of the group’s global strategy, and cement the overall group’s shift away from small cars towards sports utility vehicles. But if tariff barriers continue to rise, he will have to find a way to re-engineer the group’s product line-up so that fewer vehicles and parts need to cross borders, without undermining the savings the group was getting from greater global integration. That may mean fewer big deals and a lot more small-scale restructuring, but either way he will find Mr Marchionne a hard act to follow.”

The New York stock exchange have tweeted a nice picture of Silvio Marchionne on the day he floated Ferrari, a key milestone during his time at FCA.

We mourn the passing of auto industry legend Sergio Marchionne. He helped multiple companies (Fiat Chrysler, Ferrari, CNH Industrial) tap the public markets, creating thousands of jobs across the globe. Here he is pictured in 2015, the day he took Ferrari public. #RIPSergio

Fiat Chrysler Automobile’s new CEO, Mike Manley, has paid tribute to his predecessor, as he presents the car maker’s new financial results to analysts.

Manley says FCA learned this morning that Sergio Marchionne had passed away.

Clearly this is a very sad and difficult time. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family, friends and colleagues.

There is no doubt that Sergio was a very special, unique man, and no doubt he will be sorely missed.

Another top automobile boss, Mary Barra of General Motors, says Marchionne created a “remarkable legacy”.

We at General Motors offer our condolences to Sergio Marchionne’s family and friends. Sergio created a remarkable legacy in the automotive industry. Our thoughts are also with our industry colleagues at Fiat Chrysler as they deal with this sudden loss.

Fiat Chrysler’s results show the challenging facing Sergio Marchionne’s successor, Mike Manley.

FCA, whose brands include Jeep, Ram, Alfa Romeo, Dodge and Maserati, is aiming to double its profits over the next four years – and also make a bigger splash in the electric car sector. Today’s downgraded forecasts mean that will be a little bit harder.

Newsflash: Fiat Chrysler shares have just tumbled, after the carmaker released its latest financial results to the markets.

The company has reported that earnings shrank by 35% in the second quarter of 2018 (which turned out to be Sergio Marchionne’s final period in charge). Net profits fell to €754m, down from €1.155bn a year earlier.

ActivTrades analyst Carlo Alberto De Casa says Marchionne turned an “almost bankrupt Fiat” into an international powerhouse.

His heritage could be described in just a few numbers: in 2004 when Marchionne took over, Fiat’s revenue was close to €47bn, today it exceeds €140bn. The company profit almost trebled in the same period.

Loved or hated Marchionne is the man who made FCA as we know it today: more successful and a little less Italian.

The FT’s Henry Foy points out just how much value Sergio Marchionne created at Fiat Chrysler:

Marchionne was hired to fix Fiat in 2004 when the Italian carmaker was worth $7.5bn. Today he died, with Fiat, Chrysler and Ferrari worth roughly 10 times that. He was the smartest man I ever interviewed, and the car industry will never replace him

“We hadn’t seen anything like you.

You took $2 billion, roughly, and you’ve turned it into around $72 billion, and more important than that, there are many hundreds of thousands of families across many nations that are better off because of you and your team and you beat the sceptics every step of the way.

Chrysler workers should be grateful that Marchionne took the risk of helping the stricken auto company out of bankruptcy protection in 2009, says analyst Michelle Krebs:

It’s highly unlikely that Chrysler would exist today had he not taken that gamble. The company was in such bad shape, being stripped of any kind of resources by the previous owners.”

Anand Mahindra, chairman of Mahindra Group (the Indian conglomerate), has tweeted his admiration for Sergio Marchionne:

I convey my condolences to the family of Sergio Marchionne and to the entire FCA extended family..

I met Sergio only once but it was clear in an instant that he was a giant among men. @fcagroup

There’s a lot of affection for Sergio Marchionne on social media, including from fans of Ferrari (which he chaired until last weekend).

RIP Mr Marchionne. You revived an ailing Ferrari

Extremely saddened by the news. He saved both FIAT & Chrysler.
Hope Ferrari wins the title and dedicates it to him.#Marchionne #Fiat #Ferrari #Chrysler #F1

So sad to hear the news about Sergio Marchionne. He was without doubt one of the most inspirational greats F1 has seen and achieved things in the motor industry that no one thought possible.

Shocked and saddened by the death of @fiat CEO #Marchionne. An Italian lawyer who has worked with him regularly told me he worked “miracles” in saving two very different but equally poor companies at once. #business #law #cars #FIAT #Italy

Rest In Peace, Sergio Marchione.

Sergio was an innovator who revolutionised the automotive industry. He will be missed.

Associated Press have dubbed Sergio Marchionne a “charismatic and demanding leader”.

The manager, known for his folksy, colourful turns of phrase and for his dark cashmere sweaters no matter the occasion, was the darling of the automotive analyst community.

Even when expressing doubts at his audacious targets, they expressed admiration for his adept deal-making. That included getting GM to pay $2 billion to sever ties with Fiat, key to relaunching the long-struggling Italian carmaker, and the deal with the U.S. government to take Chrysler without a penny down in exchange for Fiat’s small-car technology.

Fiat Chrysler’s chairman, John Elkann, has told staff to build on Sergio Marchionne’s legacy, saying:

“The best way to honour his memory is to build on the legacy he left us, continuing to develop the human values of responsibility and openness of which he was the most ardent champion.”

Marchionne was one of the boldest business leaders of his generation, says the Financial Times.

Here’s a flavour of the FT’s obituary, just published:

The 66-year-old, who died from complications following surgery, was a consummate dealmaker, known for his nonstop work habit and razor sharp mind.

A poker player, his entourage told of sleepless transatlantic flights where their chain-smoking boss always wanted to play — and win — another hand of cards.

He was demonised by Beppe Grillo, founder of the anti-establishment Five Star Movement for his closure of plants and job cuts. At one political rally in Milan, Grillo led the crowd in a chant: “F**k you, Marchionne”.

In private, Marchionne was acutely aware of the ravages that globalisation had on those left behind.

Sergio Marchionne deserves great credit for his work rescuing Fiat since becoming its CEO 14 years ago, says Bloomberg:

Marchionne was handed an automaker that lost more than €6bn ($7bn) in 2003. By 2005, he had returned the company to a profit by wringing some $2 billion from an alliance with General Motors Co., laying off thousands of workers, introducing new models, and slashing the time it took to get a new car to market to just 18 months, from four years.

In 2009, U.S. President Barack Obama’s administration announced that Fiat would take control of Chrysler LLC, rescuing the American company from bankruptcy.

Newsflash: Sergio Marchionne, one of the titans of the global car industry, has died.

“Unfortunately, what we feared has come to pass. Sergio Marchionne, man and friend, is gone.

“Sergio Marchionne’s time as CEO of Fiat is already the stuff of legend.”

“Marchionne is good at execution, strategy and gamesmanship.”

Sergio Marchionne has died, according to La Repubblica. Very sad. He was only 66.

Britain’s stock market has slipped into the red this morning, as investors await the Trump-Juncker meeting in Washington DC.

The blue-chip FTSE 100 has dropped by over 40 points, or 0.55%, wiping out much of yesterday’s rally.

In focus today will be the Trump/Juncker US-EU meeting in Washington, an attempt to resolve the recent trade confrontation. Trump is looking for concessions on EU exports to the US (especially cars). Juncker wants a full suspension of US tariffs before any deal can be agreed.

Trade commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom has tweeted that she had “good discussions” with various US politicians.

She met with Republican house senator Paul Ryan, and Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi, yesterday to press Europe’s case, ahead of today’s crunch meeting with the president.

Good discussions in DC yesterday with @SpeakerRyan, @NancyPelosi, @OrrinHatch, @RonWyden, @JohnCornyn, @RepKevinBrady & @davereichert. Meeting @USTradeRep and @SenBobCorker today, before accompanying President @JunckerEU to the meeting with President @realDonaldTrump.

Former officials expect today’s White House meeting between Trump and Juncker to be tense, says Politico.

“The negotiating view of Donald Trump is unconditional surrender of the other side,” said Ivo Daalder, who served as the U.S. ambassador to NATO during the Obama administration.

“If you’re a betting person, it’s not going to be a great meeting.”

Paul Donovan of investment bank UBS has a game to play at home: try completing the phrase “Tariffs are the greatest…

He explains:

Yesterday US President Trump tweeted “Tariffs are the greatest”. The president may have been muddled, forgetting to finish the sentence.

If implemented, tariffs are the greatest tax increase US consumers face this year. Tariffs are the greatest risk to US employment growth. Tariffs are the greatest threat to US and global economic growth.

Trade war fears are already hurting German companies, according to a new survey just released.

The IFO think tank reports that optimism among bosses fell this month, pulling down its ‘expectations index’ to 98.2 this month, from 98.6 in June. That suggests Donald Trump’s trade policies are damaging Europe’s largest economy.

“Companies were slightly more satisfied with their current business situation, but scaled back their business expectations slightly.

The German economy continues to expand, but at a slower pace.”

#IFO: somewhat disappointing compared to the strong (manu) #PMI number in Germany yesterday. But overall, its still a solid report.
The exp. fell yet again, now 8 month in a row. The exp. are worrying when reflecting on the soft landing in euro area in general and trade war.

German broadcaster ZDF reckons there are three ways the Trump-Juncker talks can play out.

Scenario 1: The EU proposes renegotiating all tariffs with the EU, alongside reform of the World Trade Organisation. In return, president Trump would drop his threat to tax EU cars. That would lead to lengthy negotiations, and isn’t the radical solution Trump would favour.

We shouldn’t expect a big breakthrough on trade today, says Simon French of City firm Panmure Gordon.

He writes:

Today represents an important test case for the breadth and sustainability of trade frictions as European Commissioner Jean-Claude Juncker meets with US president Trump.

We do not expect a positive read-out and retain our base case that trade frictions will continue to expand all the way to the US mid-term elections in November.

Newsflash: Europe is preparing to impose tariffs on $20bn of US imports, EU trade commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom has revealed.

“We hope that it doesn’t come to that and that we can a solution. If not, the EU Commission is preparing a rather long list of many of American goods.

It would be around $20 billion.”

The worst thing you can possibly do in a deal is seem desperate to make it. That makes the other guy smell blood, and then you’re dead.”

Has the Commissioner been studying @realDonaldTrump #theartofthedeal? Begin a negotiation by announcing a massive threat…..

Shawn Donnan, the FT’s world trade editor, isn’t convinced by Trump’s suggestion of abolishing all US-EU tariffs.

He points out that some American farmers might be unhappy about a surge of imports from overseas, especially as China is now imposing new tariffs on US goods.

Trump sets the bar high for a trans-Atlantic trade deal… But would US business go for end to all trade barriers? Sugar? Dairy?

Is he setting the bar high or setting the European delegation up for something he knows is not on the table? Especially as long as steel and aluminum tariffs based on national security & threats on cars, are?

Good morning, and welcome to our rolling coverage of the world economy, the financial markets, the eurozone and business.

They may need to lay out sponges and towels at the White House today, as Donald Trump hosts European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker for trade talks.

The European Union is coming to Washington tomorrow to negotiate a deal on Trade. I have an idea for them. Both the U.S. and the E.U. drop all Tariffs, Barriers and Subsidies! That would finally be called Free Market and Fair Trade! Hope they do it, we are ready – but they won’t!

With escalating trade tensions between the European Union and the United States still a key theme that continues to weigh on global sentiment, the outcome of today’s meeting could leave a lasting impact on the markets.

If the talks prove unsuccessful and trade tensions end up escalating further, risk sentiment is likely to be negatively impacted. Market players should be prepared to expect the unexpected from the talks, especially when considering how highly unpredictable the Trump administration can be.

Continue reading…

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