US President Donald Trump on Wednesday threatened to impose high tariffs on imports of cars from the European Union if the bloc doesn’t agree to a trade deal, Reuters reports.
“I met with the new head of the European Commission, who’s terrific. And I had a great talk. But I said, ‘look, if we don’t get something, I’m going to have to take action’ and the action will be very high tariffs on their cars and on other things that come into our country,” Trump told CNBC in an interview from the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.
Trump said the European Union has to make a deal on trade. “They have no choice,” he said.
In a separate interview in Davos with Fox Business Network, Trump said the tariffs on EU cars could amount to 25 percent.
“Ultimately it will be very easy because if we can’t make a deal, we’ll have to put 25 percent tariffs on their cars,” the US president said.
The European Union is as strong economically as the United States, and will respond to any additional US tariffs “in the same dimension,” Germany’s ambassador to the United States, Emily Haber, said at an event in Washington.
French Ambassador Philippe Etienne told the same event that the EU hopes to negotiate a settlement with Washington, warning that tit-for-tat tariffs would hurt both economies.
“It is not in our interest to have an escalation of tariffs,” he said.
Mike Manley, the head of European car industry lobby group ACEA, said businesses need certainty and added that he hopes a clash with Trump could be avoided.
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