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The Latest: Trump suggests no tariffs between US, Europe

July 25, 2018
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House Speaker Paul Ryan of Wis., leaves a news conference following a GOP caucus meeting, Tuesday, July 24, 2018, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on President Trump and trade all times local):

8:15 p.m.

President Donald Trump says he’ll propose to European officials on Wednesday that both sides drop all tariffs, barriers and subsidies.

Trump has floated the idea in the past, but he tweeted Tuesday night that he doubts the Europeans will go for the idea.

The president says on Twitter: “That would finally be called Free Market and Fair Trade! Hope they do it, we are ready - but they won’t!”

Trump tweeted earlier Tuesday that trade partners must either negotiate a fair deal or pay tariffs.

Trump is meeting Wednesday with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker (zhahn-KLOHD’ YUN’-kur). The U.S. and European allies have been at odds over the president’s tariffs on steel imports and are meeting as the trade dispute threatens to spread to automobile production.

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3:05 p.m.

Congressional Republicans are expressing deep skepticism of Trump administration’s plan to bail out farms hit by tariffs, saying farmers want free trade, not handouts.

Agricultural Committee Chairman Pat Roberts of Kansas says, “They would much prefer trade, rather than aid.”

Sen. Ben Sasse of Nebraska said Trump’s trade war “is cutting the legs out from under farmers and White House’s ‘plan’ is to spend $12 billion on gold crutches.”

Senators say the aid package could help short-term, but they’re worried about losing long-term access to export markets.

Sen. Jerry Moran of Kansas says, “When the tariff war is over... how do we get those markets back?”

Sen. Bob Corker of Tennessee says, “Instead of offering welfare to farmers” to solve a problem the administration created, it “should reverse course and end this incoherent policy.”

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1:45 p.m.

The Agriculture Department is announcing a $12 billion “short-term” plan to help U.S. farmers hurt by retaliatory tariffs.

Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue says the plan will help a broad number of farmers deal with the cost of “disruptive markets” as U.S. trading partners have retaliated for President Donald Trump’s tariffs on imported goods.

Agriculture officials say the plan will not require congressional approval. It involves direct payments to farmers, the purchase of excess food and trade promotion programs to help create new export markets.

Trump said separately during a speech in Kansas City that “farmers will be the biggest beneficiary” of his trade agenda as he seeks better trade agreements.

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11:15 a.m.

The Trump administration is preparing a plan to provide billions of dollars in emergency aid to farmers who have been hurt by tariffs. That’s according to two people who have been briefed on the plan who spoke on condition of anonymity ahead of a formal announcement.

The Agriculture Department was expected to announce the plan later Tuesday.

This comes as President Donald Trump appears at the Veterans of Foreign Wars national convention in Kansas City in the heart of the nation’s farm country. The plan aims to provide temporary relief to farmers who have faced retaliation from U.S. trade partners during Trump’s escalating trade dispute with China.

The administration has slapped tariffs on $34 billion in Chinese goods and China retaliated with duties on soybeans and pork.

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10:45 a.m.

House Speaker Paul Ryan says lawmakers are making the case to President Donald Trump that tariffs are “not the way to go.”

The Republican leader told reporters Tuesday, “I’ve made it pretty clear I don’t think tariffs are the right answer.”

Ryan said he understood Trump’s goal — of trying to get a “better deal for Americans” — but he disagreed with the president’s strategy. Ryan said he doesn’t support tariffs. He added that, “Tariffs are taxes.”

Ryan’s remarks came a couple hours after Trump tweeted that “Tariffs are the greatest!” and threatened to impose additional penalties on U.S. trading partners.

The president is meeting with European officials on Wednesday at the White House. The U.S. and European allies have been at odds over Trump’s tariffs on steel imports and are meeting as the trade dispute threatens to spread to automobile production.

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7:50 a.m.

President Donald Trump is declaring that “Tariffs are the greatest!” and threatening to impose additional penalties on U.S. trading partners as he prepares for negotiations with European officials at the White House.

Trump is tweeting that trade partners need to either negotiate a “fair deal, or it gets hit with Tariffs. It’s as simple as that.”

The president writes that the U.S. is a ”‘piggy bank’ that’s being robbed.” He notes that countries “that have treated us unfairly on trade for years” are coming to Washington to negotiate.

Trump is meeting with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker (zhahn-KLOHD’ YUN’-kur) on Wednesday. The U.S. and European allies have been at odds over the president’s tariffs on steel imports and are meeting as the trade dispute threatens to spread to automobile production.

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