President Donald Trump told EuropeanCommission President Jean-Claude Juncker that he seeks“reciprocal'' trade as the two opened talks with the threat of newU.S. auto tariffs looming.Trump said he hoped for a “very positive”outcome from meeting with Juncker but complained of “massivetariffs” and “massive barriers” at the start of discussions at theWhite House between the two leaders on Wednesday.“We have tofollow,” Trump said. “You could call it retaliation, but I'd ratherjust say that we want reciprocal.”Juncker came to Washington for alast-ditch bid to avoid U.S. tariffs on cars and pull both sidesback from an escalating trade war.“We are friends or partners, andallies, not enemies,” he told the president. “We should focus onreducing tariffs, not increasing them.”Trump said he would be“extremely pleased” if there were “no tariffs and no barriers andno subsidies.” Trump has complained that European tariffs andsubsidies are too high.Trump warned at a cabinet meeting last weekthat he would move forward with 25 percent auto tariffs if themeeting with Juncker didn't go well. He set the atmosphere for theencounter with a tweet a day earlier celebrating import duties.“Tariffs are the greatest!” he wrote onTuesday.Trump could impose car tariffs on national security groundsonce Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross completes a requiredinvestigation and presents the president with options on how toadjust imports. Trump already has placed duties on steel and aluminum products on thesame grounds.Auto tariffs at the level Trump has threatened wouldadd about 10,000 euros (US$11,700) to the sticker price of aEuropean-built car sold in the U.S., according a EuropeanCommission assessment obtained by Bloomberg News last month. Thatwould cut U.S. imports of European cars and car parts in half, thecommission forecast.Juncker and and EU Trade Commissioner CeciliaMalmstrom planned to signal the bloc's willingness to negotiate afree-trade deal between the EU and U.S. on manufactured goods, oran agreement among all major car-exporting nations that would cutor eliminate tariffs on automobiles globally. Still, Europe hasprepared $20 billion in retaliatory measures if Trump followsthrough with his threat.White House economic adviser Larry Kudlowsaid on Fox Wednesday that a one-on-one meeting between Trump andJuncker is “going to be absolutely crucial,” but that expectations“are so low” that there may be an upside to the outcome.Hoursbefore the meeting, World Trade Organization (WTO) Director-GeneralRoberto Azevedo called for an urgent response from supporters ofinternational trade to prevent an “eye-for-an-eye” approach thatrisks wrecking the international economic system that has been inplace since World War II.“The worst-case scenario for the globaleconomy, for the consumer, for everyone on the surface of theEarth, is to have no rules, to have the law of the jungle,” Azevedosaid Wednesday during a press conference at WTO headquarters inGeneva. “Investors will pull back, the economy will lose steam, andjobs will be lost—millions of jobs will be lost.”Trump moved tobuck up a key political constituency against financial losses froma trade conflict with a plan to offer as much as $12 billion inextra aid to U.S. farmers. The payments would benefit producers whoare seeing prices drop and inventories rise because of disputeswith China, Canada, and other trade partners who are significantpurchasers of U.S. pork, soybeans, and other products.Trump litinto critics of his tariffs, saying discord—some from Republicansin Congress—undercuts his ability to put pressure on foreigngovernments.“When you have people snipping at your heels during anegotiation, it will only take longer to make a deal, and the dealwill never be as good as it could have been with unity,” Trump saidon Twitter on Wednesday. “Negotiations are going really well, becool. The end result will be worth it!”House Speaker Paul Ryan isamong several Republicans who have spoken out against Trump's tradeagenda.“I just don't think the tariff route is the smart way togo,” Ryan told reporters on Tuesday. Ryan added that while Trump isseeking “a better deal for Americans, better trade agreements—Ijust don't think tariffs are the way to go, and our members aremaking that pretty clear.”Trump has been critical of the EU overits $150 billion trade surplus with the U.S. But Europe is only onefront in Trump's attacks on trading partners. Earlier this month,the president imposed 25 percent tariffs on $34 billion of Chinese goods, with similar penalties on anadditional $16 billion worth of products expected to go into effectshortly. Trump has threatened levies on an additional $200 billionof Chinese products in the next month.

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