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Remarks Prior to a Meeting With President Jean-Claude Juncker of the European Commission

July 25, 2018

President Trump. Well, thank you very much. It's a great honor to have President Jean-Claude Juncker from the European Union. He's a man that I've gotten to know very well. He's a very smart man and a very tough man. And he represents his people well and the countries well. And we want to have a fair trade deal, and we're looking to have a fair trade deal. And hopefully, we can work something out.

Over the years, the United States has been losing hundreds of billions of dollars with the European Union, and we just want it to be a level playing field for our farmers, for our manufacturers, for everybody. And we also want a big beneficiary, frankly, to be the European Union. So we think it can be good for everybody. And that's what we're here to discuss.

Mr. President, thank you very much for coming. Thank you.

President Juncker. Yes, it's my pleasure, Mr. President. And first, I wanted to thank you for having taken the initiative to invite me to the White House. We are close partners, allies, not enemies. We have to work together. We are representing half of the world trade; $1 trillion is the trade figure between us.

President Trump. Yes.

President Juncker. And so I think that we have to talk each to another and not at another. And that's what we do today. I just think that we should focus on reducing tariffs, not on increasing them. And that's what we have to do. That's our job.

President Trump. Well, I agree. And if we could have no tariffs and no barriers and no subsidies, the United States would be extremely pleased. We have many countries—we won't say European Union—we have many countries where they have massive barriers, and they have massive tariffs, and we have to follow. And you could call it retaliation, but I'd rather just say that we want reciprocal. So whether it's with European Union or others, it has to be reciprocal in nature, at a minimum. And we're working on that, and I think we're making tremendous strides.

We're doing very well with Mexico. We're doing very well with a lot of countries, actually, right now. And—but this is something—as Jean-Claude said, together, as a unit, we make up actually more than 50 percent of the world trade. That's a big number. That's a big number.

So we expect something very positive to take place. But you'll be the first to know.

Thank you all very much. Appreciate it. Thank you.

NOTE: The President spoke at 1:35 p.m. in the Oval Office at the White House.

Donald J. Trump, Remarks Prior to a Meeting With President Jean-Claude Juncker of the European Commission Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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