Washington said it would impose tariffs on European cars if the United States is not able to finalize a trade agreement with the European Union. “We’re negotiating. If we don’t make the deal, we’ll do the tariffs,” US President Trump said. The old-new threat against the European automobile industry is taking another spin after a Commerce Department report has been released. The report purports that European car imports constitute a threat to the US national security and sets the stage for potential restrictive measures to be imposed within 90 days
The White House has already used the national security argument to impose tariffs on aluminum and steel coming from the EU, Canada, Mexico, and China. President Trump who threatens to levy 25% duties on European cars, especially German ones, claims that the imports of European cars are harming the American car industry. In the summer, a truce was reached between both sides of the Atlantic after Donald Trump met with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker.
“We’re trying to make a deal,” Trump said. “They’re very tough to make a deal with, the EU. They’ve been very difficult over a period of time, over many, many years.” The talks have not yet started because the EU executive needs to obtain a mandate from member states before it can enter into negotiations. Moreover, both sides disagree about the content of the talks: while Washington wants to include agriculture, the EU says that it will not be included. Brussels wants to keep the negotiations limited to regulatory issues and industrial goods.