European Union delivers stark warning to United States over auto tariffs

Donald Trump

The EU sent comments to the US for consideration in the Department of Commerce investigation into whether auto imports pose enough of a threat to USA national security to justify tariffs and estimating the economic impact.

"They send a Mercedes in, we can't send our cars in".

The European Union has warned the United States that imposing import tariffs on cars and auto parts would harm its own automotive industry and likely lead to counter-measures by its trading partners on US$294 billion of USA exports.

The submission said that tariffs on cars and vehicle parts could undermine U.S. auto production by imposing higher costs on United States manufacturers.

"In 2017, US-based European Union companies produced close to 2.9 million automobiles, which accounted for 26% of total USA production", it said, adding that they supported 120,000 U.S. jobs. In response, China has said it will raise import duties on $34 billion worth of American goods.

"The FTSE 100 was down 1.2pc at 7548 points and the Eurozone-wide Stoxx 50 fell 1.4pc after US President Donald Trump suggested on Saturday that the European Union was possibly as bad as China, only smaller", when it comes to trade.




"We'll spare no effort, be it at the technical or political level, to prevent this from happening", a spokesman for the Commission told reporters, adding that Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker's trip to Washington later this month would seek to stop any new United States tariffs. They don't want our farm products.

Trump has singled out the Europeans as a problem as great to the USA on trade as China and laid out threats to fight the EU with a 20 percent duty on EU auto imports, a particular source of his scorn. Now in all fairness they have their farmers. The European Union has also agreed to implement retaliation tariffs, already going tit-for-tat by imposing its own 25 percent tariff on $3.2 billion in Americanized goods that include motorcycles, peanut butter, whiskey, and tobacco.

The FT reported the European Commission's letter as saying Trump's proposed auto tariffs would break global law and "damage further the reputation" of the U.S.

In a letter to United States authorities, the European Commission, which handles trade policy for the bloc's 28 members, painted a stark picture of what the United States economy would face if Trump followed through on his threat.

The U.S. has complained about Chinese policies that Washington said either forced companies to relinquish key technology or allowed China to steal it outright.

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