Donald Trump warns of trade war with EU countries

Donald Trump

Donald Trump  

He threatens auto tariffs if trade pact is not finalised

U.S. President Donald Trump relaunched a major trade offensive against Europe on Wednesday, threatening to hit the EU with damaging auto tariffs if Europeans failed to agree a long-delayed trade deal.

With observers warning that global harmony on trade was crucial to the health of the world economy, Mr. Trump warned Europe that the U.S. would protect its interests, on the second day of his stay at the Davos economic forum.

His interventions took the focus off climate change, which had dominated the first day of event, where Mr. Trump lashed out at the “prophets of doom”, who say that the world is in crisis over global warming.

“The EU is tougher to deal with than anybody. They’ve taken advantage of our country for many years,” Mr. Trump said. “Ultimately, it will be very easy because if we can't make a deal, we'll have to put 25% tariffs on their cars,” he added.

Mr. Trump said that his attention would now to turn to Europe, after he sealed a trade truce with China after a bitter trade war that destabilised the world economy.

“... I wanted to wait till I finished China. I didn't want to go with China and Europe at the same time.”

Mr. Trump’s comments followed a warning by the U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin that Washington would proceed with long threatened auto tariffs if Europeans go through with a digital tax that mainly affects US firms.

EU-U.S. trade ties deteriorated after Mr. Trump came to power three years ago, who imposed tariffs on steel and aluminium imports, notably from the EU, which responded by taxing iconic U.S. products.

Both sides agreed to pursue a trade deal in July 2017 as a tentative truce, but negotiations have stalled over farming.

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Printable version | Feb 28, 2020 6:59:22 PM |

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