District of Columbia — President Donald Trump is set to make an announcement at 1:45 PM EST regarding the ongoing trade dispute between the United States and the European Union in the Roosevelt Room at the White House. While the details are unknown, it has the potential to be a breakthrough announcement for both sides. The sides have been at odds since President Trump enacted tariffs in January 2018, engaging Canada, Mexico, China, the EU, and others in trade disputes and a war.
In January 2018, President Trump enacted a 30% tariff on solar panels and escalating tariffs on washing machines. The washing machine tariffs start at 20% for the first 1.2 million units, and escalates to 50% for every other unit, with the parts also receiving a 50% tariff. The tariffs deescalate to 18%, 45%, and 45% respectively during the second year, along with 16%, 40%, and 40% in year three. These particular tariffs hit China the hardest, who leads the world in solar panel manufacturing and export the most washing machines to the United States. Then in March 2018, President Trump imposed a 25% tariff on steel and 10% on aluminum, with the EU, Mexico, and Canada originally being exempted from them until May. Eventually, the U.S., Mexico, and Canada eventually came to an agreement to remove the tariffs earlier this year.
In response to the tariffs, the EU has retaliated with $3 billion worth of tariffs on U.S. goods since June 2018, including steel and aluminum, agricultural products, boats, cosmetics, clothing, and washing machines. The EU also filed a complaint with the World Trade Organization, and American motorcycle manufacturer Harley-Davidson announced they would be moving some of their manufacturing outside the U.S..