Monday, 23 July 2018

Europe to retaliate if US imposes auto tariffs, says France

PARIS: Europe will hit back if US President Donald Trump follows through with a threat to slap import tariffs on European-made cars, France’s finance minister said.

Trump escalated already burning trade tensions on Friday by threatening to hit all imports of cars assembled in the European Union (EU) with a 20 percent tariff.

The threat comes shortly after the United States imposed tariffs on European-made steel and aluminum in a move Washington’s NATO allies blasted as unjustifiable.

“If the United States hits us again with a 20 percent increase on cars we will respond again. We don’t want an escalation, but we are the ones being attacked,” Le Maire told the Anglo-American Press Association.

Trump posted his threat on Twitter the day European Union reprisals took effect against US tariffs on European steel and aluminum. The EU targeted $3.2 billion in American goods exported to the 28-member bloc, including bourbon and Harley Davidsons.

The company said on Monday it would move production of motorcycles shipped to the EU from the United States to its international facilities and forecast the retaliatory tariffs would cost the company $90-100 million a year.

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