Special to the Washington Post

Former British prime minister Harold Macmillan once trenchantly observed that: “Jaw, jaw is better than war, war.” The announcement on July 25 by President Trump and European Union President Jean-Claude Juncker that the United States and the European Union would work together to reduce tariffs and other trade barriers was a tacit acknowledgment of Macmillan’s wisdom.

What do Americans really think about tariffs and trade issues? Trump’s willingness to talk rather than force a confrontation with the EU may, in part, reflect the fact that a substantial segment of the American public does not support his anti-EU statements and actions on trade. Even a president who loves provocative statements may not be able to ignore public opinion.

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