US president Donald Trump threatened to impose high tariffs on imports of cars from the EU if it doesn’t agree to a trade deal.
Mr Trump has previously made threats to place duties on European automobile imports, with the intent of receiving better terms in the US-Europe trade relationship. He has delayed imposing the tariffs a number of times.
“I met with the new head of the European Commission, who’s terrific. And I had a great talk,” Mr Trump told CNBC’s Joe Kernen in
an interview from the World Economic Forum in
“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.”
Former German defence minister Ursula von der Leyen succeeded Jean-Claude Juncker at the end of 2019 as president of the commission, becoming the first woman to hold the post.
Mike Manley, head of European car industry lobby group Acea, said businesses need certainty and hoped that a clash with Mr Trump could be avoided.
“If you look at president Trump’s track record I think he is incredibly serious,” said Mr Manley, who is the chief executive of Fiat Chrysler.
“An escalation of the tariffs is not to the benefit of anyone.”
The US has also threatened duties of up to 100% on French goods, from champagne to handbags, because of a digital services tax that Washington says harms US tech companies.
Mr Trump told CNBC that the EU has to make a deal on trade. “They have no choice,” he said.
In an interview in Davos with Fox Business News, he said the tariffs on EU cars could amount to 25%.
“Ultimately, it will be very easy because if we can’t make a deal, we’ll have to put 25% tariffs on their cars,” said Mr Trump
told Fox Business’ Maria Bartiromo in an interview
The US struck a phase 1 trade deal with China last week, soothing some of the worries which have hampered the world economy in recent times.
Asked if a trade pact with Britain could come next, Mr Trump told CNBC he is ready to make a deal with British prime minister Boris Johnson.
“Boris and I are friends, and he wants to make a deal, and that’s OK with me,” he said.
Mr Johnson has said that one of the main advantages of being outside the EU would be the ability for Britain to negotiate its own trade deals, including with the US.
Source: Business News