Saturday, 22 September, 2018

Trump on trade: European Union 'possibly as bad as China'

A U.S. Customs sign is shown on a fenced area holing imported vehicles after arriving in the United States in National City California BMW: Trump's Tariffs Threaten Jobs In Republican South Carolina
Laurie Berry | 02 July, 2018, 22:11

"We have right now a 2.5% tariff on all cars that come in and if you're an European Union auto seller you figure this into your business strategy, okay, we're selling to the USA - we have this relatively minor tariff, 2.5% to deal with, if that was to increase tenfold, it's gonna be a huge problem", said worldwide trade expert Alex Lawson. It's around the same as the value of USA imports of foreign cars and parts.

The Commerce Department launched its investigation, on grounds of national security, on May 23 under instruction from President Donald Trump, who has repeatedly criticised the European Union over its trade surplus with the United States and for having higher import duties on cars.

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.

In a 10-page submission to the United States Commerce Department sent last Friday, the European Union said tariffs on cars and auto parts were unjustifiable and did not make economic sense.

"The domestic manufacture of automobiles has no apparent correlation with U.S. national security", BMW wrote in a letter to U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross, according to Reuters.

The EU now has a 10% levy on USA vehicles compared to 2.5%for cars entering the United States.

Trump's former personal lawyer says he'll put family first
In fact, he's stopped answering the question altogether, although he tells Stephanopoulos that "I want to answer". Cohen initially said he used his own money to pay Daniels and was not reimbursed by Trump.

The European Union has reportedly threatened to retaliate against US President Donald Trump in the escalating trade conflict developing across the Atlantic.

As well as the tariff threats, the European Commission is also believed to have warned Trump that his behaviour could "result in yet another disregard of global law" by the U.S., as well as saying that any auto tariffs would "damage further the reputation" of the country.

Trump recently turned his attention to the automotive sector, focusing on European manufacturers.

EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom said that while the EU does have higher tariffs on cars than the USA - around 10 per cent versus 2 per cent - the tariffs only apply to a fraction of the auto market, around 15 per cent. "The European Union is possibly as bad as China, just smaller", he told Fox News in an interview, adding that it was "terrible what they do to us" and then mentioning the "car situation".

In this context, Trump presumably alluded to his belief that European carmakers are taking away business from American manufacturers.

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