The gift was made as part of a White House meeting held to discuss strained trade relations between the allies amid the latest exchange of import tariffs.
European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said on July 25 that he gave US President Donald Trump a picture of a Luxembourg military cemetery where lies the grave of General Patton, who led the Western Allied invasion of Normandy in World War II, as a call to remember their common history.
Amid strained tensions, Juncker noted, it’s “more important than ever” for young people both in Europe and the US to learn about the “importance of our relationship,” for peace, democracy, and freedom in the world.
The gift was presented at a meeting in Washington held on Wednesday amid a fierce trade dispute between the transatlantic allies. Trump praised the talks with Juncker as a “breakthrough” and a “big day for free and fair trade.”
In a bid to step back from sliding into a looming trade war, Washington and Brussels agreed to ramp up the European imports of American soybeans and liquefied natural gas (LNG) and to “work towards” zero tariffs and zero subsidies on non-auto industrial goods.
The meeting came a month after the EU levied retaliatory tariffs worth 2.8 billion euros on US goods, including jeans, bourbon, and motorcycles. The move provoked the ire of Donald Trump, who threatened to set up a 20% tariff on European cars coming into the US if the EU doesn’t step back.
On June 1, the White House slapped tariffs on aluminum and steel imports from the European Union, Canada, and Mexico, facing a backlash from Washington’s allies and prompting Brussels to launch a WTO case.