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EU threatens retaliation if Trump tariffs European autos

This is war, it’s necessary, and America will win, in Trump’s mind

Friday, the world witnessed US President Donald Trump threaten Europe with a 20% tariff on auto imported to the US from the European Union.

The European Union is threatening to counteract any new tariffs coming out of Washington against autos produced in the EU. Meanwhile, the very automakers to incur these tariffs are often ones with considerable investments within the United States, employing thousands of American labourers.

Euractiv reports:

The European Union will respond to any US move to raise tariffs on cars made in the bloc, a senior European Commission official said, the latest comments in an escalating trade row.

US President Donald Trump on Friday threatened to impose a 20% tariff on all imports of EU-assembled cars, a month after his administration launched an investigation into whether auto imports posed a national security threat.

“If they decide to raise their import tariffs, we’ll have no choice, again, but to react,” EU Commission Vice President Jyrki Katainen told French newspaper Le Monde.

“We don’t want to fight (over trade) in public via Twitter. We should end the escalation,” he said in the comments published on Saturday.

The European Autos Stocks Index fell on Friday after Trump’s tariff threat. Shares US carmakers Ford Motor Co and General Motors Co also dropped.

“If these Tariffs and Barriers are not soon broken down and removed, we will be placing a 20% Tariff on all of their cars coming into the US Build them here!” Trump tweeted.

The US Commerce Department has a deadline of February 2019 to investigate whether imports of automobiles and auto parts pose a risk to US national security.

US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said on Thursday the department aimed to wrap up the probe by late July or August. The Commerce Department plans to hold two days of public comments in July on its investigation of auto imports.

Trump has repeatedly singled out German auto imports to the United States for criticis

Trump told carmakers at a meeting in the White House on May 11 that he was planning to impose tariffs of 20 or 25% on some imported vehicles and sharply criticized Germany’s automotive trade surplus with the United States.

The United States currently imposes a 2.5% tariff on imported passenger cars from the EU and a 25% tariff on imported pickup trucks. The EU imposes a 10% tariff on imported US cars.

The tariff proposal has drawn sharp condemnation from Republican lawmakers and business groups. A group representing major US and foreign automakers has said it is “confident that vehicle imports do not pose a national security risk.”

The US Chamber of Commerce said US auto production had doubled over the past decade, and said tariffs “would deal a staggering blow to the very industry it purports to protect and would threaten to ignite a global trade war.”

German automakers Volkswagen AG, Daimler AG and BMW AG build vehicles at plants in the United States. BMW is one of South Carolina’s largest employers, with more than 9,000 workers in the state.

The United States in 2017 accounted for about 15% of worldwide Mercedes-Benz and BMW brand sales. It accounts for 5% of Volkswagen’s VW brand sales and 12% of its Audi brand sales.

The threats and tariffs actions appear to follow a similar path as those which have been going down with China. An initial tariffs list is enacted which is met with a measured response from the targeted nation which is then ‘retaliated’ against by the Americans, and so forth.

This is how the trade wars escalate, and in each case, a multitude of industries are adversely impacted, also threatening an innumerable number of jobs, causing precipitous drops in the markets, and increasing the cost of end products purchased by consumers, in each case also affecting the Americans. But that seems about right to Trump. This is war, it’s necessary, and America will win, in Trump’s mind.


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The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Duran.

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September 5, 2018

USA set tariffs on Japanese cars back in the day to protect American Auto makers, So the Japanese started making cars in the USA for the USA. Toyota made lexus, nissan made infinity and that created jobs. Also there was a big tariff on Japanese trucks and vans hence Japanese started building Tacomas and Tundras and Frontiers in USA creating jobs. There are also high tariffs on German cars hence BMW and VW started assembling cars in USA as well.

Charles Pettibone
Charles Pettibone
September 5, 2018

I’m not sure how many of the Duran’s writers live in the US, and there seems to be a tendency to cover these tariffs negatively, as if they were part of a hegemonic strategy for US dominance. I can see how a person living outside the US would read them this way, but actually the calls for this kind of stuff have nothing to do with that- in fact, the groups calling most loudly for them have tended to be hardcore antiwar progressives and paleocons. You should see some of the rural towns which have been utterly destroyed by our… Read more »

Mick McNulty
Mick McNulty
September 5, 2018

Here in Britain hoping the EU saves us from the US is like hoping pneumonia saves us from TB.

You can call me Al
You can call me Al
September 5, 2018

I don’t think the quality manufacturers need to worry, when you buy a BMW, Rolls, Audi, Merc + others, you really don’t give a crap about an extra 50 K, you buy the car, because you want it.

Wayne Blow
Wayne Blow
September 5, 2018

That seems to be all EU ever does is “threaten” , all talk, no action, typical SLAVE market !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Red Pilled ThoughtCrimes
Red Pilled ThoughtCrimes
September 5, 2018

time to leave the EU

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