Juncker wins the art of the deal
- The EU-US meeting on trade led to a statement that was weird. US President Trump seems to have surrendered over taxing autos. In exchange the EU offered to talk. The EU is good at talking. There were noble statements about ending tariffs, subsidies and non-tariff barriers – perhaps the TTIP talks begun under President Obama will be revived?
- US President Trump tweeted that EU officials were going to buy more US soybeans. EU officials cannot do that. The US is already the largest exporter of soybeans to the EU. There are no subsidies, trade taxes or quotas on soybeans in the EU. Private farmers decide whether to buy more soybeans or not.
- With US President Trump in the mood to concede on trade, NAFTA talks begin in Washington again today. Meanwhile, Chinese regulators have blocked a proposed takeover of a Dutch chipmaker by a US chipmaker, in a move judged related to trade tensions.
- The ECB meets. The ECB has taken all the fun out of European central bank policy. Policy guidance means the element of surprise has disappeared. The only potential drama today comes from economists betting on what color tie ECB President Draghi will wear at the press conference.