President Donald Trump's meeting with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker on Wednesday was expected to be contentious, coming less than two weeks after the former called the EU a "foe" that "clobbered" the US on trade.
While the EU has created a single market and customs union among its own members, the EU tends to function as an economic "fortress Europe" wherein genuine free trade agreements are hard to secure and when they are secured, they are usually with countries whose economies are so qualitatively similar that the deals do not make a substantial difference to either side.
Qualcomm needed Beijing's approval because China accounts for almost two-thirds of its revenue, but a deadline at yesterday in Asia passed without word from China's regulator.
Trump said the EU made a commitment to buy more USA soybeans and natural gas, but a European official disputed that characterization.
"Soybeans is a big deal. And the European Union is going to start, nearly immediately, to buy a lot of soya beans", Mr Trump told reporters after the meeting. "Work on documents has already started and the process is moving ... along quickly", Trump tweeted Wednesday.
While some farmers may be pleased with the prospect of funding assistance headed their way, there seems to be a general consensus among the farming community that they would rather see Trump settle the trade disputes with China, Mexico, Canada and the European Union and get free trade flowing again.
Juncker says he came to America to make a deal, which they've done.
Mr Trump called it part of "strategic cooperation on energy".
European governments and EU officials hailed the agreement as a major success. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.), a frequent critic of Trump on trade policy, wrote, "This trade war is cutting the legs out from under farmers and the White House's "plan" is to spend $12 billion on gold crutches. Great for global economy", tweeted German Economic Affairs and Energy Minister Peter Altmaier.
The US Senate quietly passed legislation on Thursday that would lower trade barriers on hundreds of items made in China.
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Leaders of the BRICS emerging economies - Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa - are holding an annual three-day summit, with attention focused on the threat of a USA -led global trade war.
Steelmakers' shares fell, with United States Steel falling more than 5pc in extended trading, and AK Steel Holdings sliding 2pc.
The deal boosted share markets initially, and USA industrial shares were stronger on Thursday as fears of a trade war with Europe ebbed.
"We're starting the negotiation right now, but we know very much where it's going", Trump said after talks with European counterparts.
A U.S. -EU deal on trade should give the European Union at least four months of respite from transatlantic tensions, crucially pushing past the U.S. midterm elections, a senior EU official said on Thursday. According to the National Grain and Feed Association, China began canceling US soybean purchases as the import tariffs hit, lowering commitments to buy 366,000 metric tons of USA soybeans in the season that ends August 31 and cutting purchases by 66,000 tons in the following year.
Trump agreed on Wednesday to refrain from imposing vehicle tariffs while the two sides launch negotiations to cut other trade barriers.
In an attempt to assuage some of those concerns, Trump Wednesday announced that he has secured major trade concessions from European Union officials as part of an effort to head off a trade war between the USA and the E.U.
United States farmers have been hurt by China's retaliatory tariffs on American soybeans amid an escalating trade fight between Washington and Beijing, and Trump has been promising relief.
But, he said, the new direct-pay program to farmers should go a long way to offset those losses in the short term and keep farming operations in the black.