INTERNATIONAL

U.S. President warns of trade war with EU nations

Donald TrumpJONATHAN ERNST

Donald TrumpJONATHAN ERNST  

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.

“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.”

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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