Donald Trump Threatens To Tax EU Car Imports

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Bring it on, Trump warned.

"They make it impossible for our cars [and more] to sell there", he added, slamming what he called a "big trade imbalance".

The trade wrangle began on Thursday when Mr Trump vowed to impose hefty tariffs on steel and aluminium imports.

But a top European Union trade official said Trump still has a small chance to avoid a damaging global trade war and asked the USA leader to reconsider his aims before he signed them into effect next week.

The commerce secretary dismissed European Union threats of retaliatory tariffs on flagship American products including Harley Davidson motorcycles, bourbon and Levi's jeans as trivial and a "rounding error".

The move has been highly controversial among Republicans and within the administration, but Trump on Friday tweeted that "trade wars are good, and easy to win". He said the total amount of tariffs the U.S. government is proposing is about $US9 billion a year, a fraction of 1 per cent of the economy.

"We've seen the USA government going back about tariffs on cars", Trade Minister Steve Ciobo told Sky News Australia Sunday. The EU has been a close security ally of the United States for decades.

Lidington also says Britain's experience shows that protectionism doesn't work.

Major steel and aluminum users in the US include the automobile sector, construction, aerospace and even the beverage industry.

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How many EU-made cars go to the US? Instead, the largest exporters of steel to the USA are Canada, Germany, South Korea, and other top allies.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau slammed the tariffs as "absolutely unacceptable". However, European auto makers also have factories in the U.S., employing thousands of American workers who would also be vulnerable in a trade war.

President Trump argues that the new tariff on steel and aluminium will reduce the flow of cheap steel to the U.S., that lead to the job losses. Last year, he called German auto imports, valued at $23 billion in 2017, terrible, and chided European carmakers for failing to open manufacturing plants on United States territory.

Shares of US Steel, AK Steel Holding Corp and Century Aluminium Co dropped mid-morning on news the announcement had been delayed, then rebounded two hours later after Trump said the tariffs were coming next week.

To combat the threat, both Scheer and Galimberti said the Liberals need to use the influence they have to try to get through to Trump.

The tariffs are meant to support American-made products.

Trump has threatened to tax European cars if the EU boosts tariffs on American products in response to the president's plan to increase duties on steel and aluminum. Navarro's stature within the White House has grown in recent weeks as Trump has turned towards advisers with protectionist views as he became frustrated that his trade agenda was floundering.

German officials have spent much of the past year trying to convince USA policy makers that they have a healthy trade relationship in the US that benefits both countries. But Trump has a frosty relationship with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, and these personal relationships can spill into policy decisions at the White House.

Mr Trump had already announced tariffs on solar panels and washing machines in January.

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