As trans-Atlantic trade tensions continue to heat up, the European Union has vowed to retaliate against the United States’ threat to impose tariffs on imported vehicles.
According to Bloomberg.com, the car dispute follows American tariffs on European steel and aluminum imports. The United States has used a threat to our national-security as justification for the tariffs. The bloc retaliated imposing duties on 2.8 billion euros of U.S. imports, ranging from Harley-Davidson Inc. motorcycles to Levi Strauss & Co. jeans.
“U.S. tariffs on European cars would mark a significant escalation of trans-Atlantic tensions because the value of EU automotive exports to the American market is about 10 times greater than the bloc’s steel and aluminum exports. As a result, European retaliatory duties would target a larger amount of U.S. exports to Europe.”
Margaritis Schinas, a spokesman for the European Commission, told reporters in Brussels on Monday that If European exports are hit by U.S. actions, the EU will “react in a swift and adequate manner.”
Chancellor Angela Merkel during a speech to senior security officials in Munich said that she was shocked at the Trump administration’s suggestion that the European auto industry is a threat to U.S. security.
If Trump follows through on his threat to impose tariffs, the impact would mainly affect Germany.
In preparation for Trump to act on his intentions, the EU aims to impose tariffs on a total of 20 billion euros ($23 billion) in U.S. goods.
Back in July, Trump and European Commission President Jean-Claude Junker made a truce to “work together toward zero tariffs, zero non-tariff barriers, and zero subsidies on non-auto industrial goods.”
So, as we await just how the Trump administration will take the next step, Europe remains hopeful with Schinas saying that “President Juncker trusts President Trump’s word. The European Union will stick to its word as long as the U.S. does the same.”