President Trump invited seven Senators from heavy agricultural states to a press conference between himself and European Union Leader Jean-Claude Juncker in which they discussed tariffs, then the lawmakers went on to have a private meeting on trade as scheduled.
The press conference with the EU leader seemed to come as a surprise to most of the lawmakers, as they were only expecting to discuss trade with the President.
“The word that we got from staff was, as it was coming together, [Trump] was saying, ‘OK, what’s the next meeting?'” Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.) told ABC. “And they said, ‘Mr. President, the next meeting is with senators and House members,’ and he said, ‘Well, just bring them on out to hear this because they’ll want to hear it.'”
At the beginning of the press conference, Trump recognized each of the invited senators including Senator Hyde-Smith by name. During the announcement Trump said he and Juncker were working together toward zero tariffs, zero non-tariff barriers and zero subsidies on non-auto industrial goods.
“So we had a big day. Very big. We met right here at the White House to launch a new phase in the relationship between the United States and the European Union — a phase of close friendship; of strong trade relations in which both of us will win; of working better together for global security and prosperity; and of fighting jointly against terrorism.
The United States and the European Union together count for more than 830 million citizens and more than 50 percent of the global GDP. In other words, together, we’re more than 50 percent of trade. If we team up, we can make our planet a better, more secure, and more prosperous place.”
The United States and the European Union have a $1 TRILLION bilateral trade relationship – the largest economic relationship in the world. We want to further strengthen this trade relationship to the benefit of all American and European citizens… pic.twitter.com/4zlmEEtCpG
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 25, 2018