Sunday, 22 July, 2018

European Union warns Trump that auto tariffs could lead to $300B retaliation

European Union warns Trump that auto tariffs could lead to $300B retaliation European Union warns Trump that auto tariffs could lead to $300B retaliation
Lindsey Cook | 04 July, 2018, 01:35

U.S. President Donald Trump has proposed imposing a 20 percent duty on European Union auto imports, citing security concerns.

The United States is set to impose tariffs on $34 billion worth of additional goods from China on July 6.

The EU responded to the steel and aluminum tariffs with "rebalancing measures" that hit around $3.25 billion worth of American-made products. China, which has announced tariffs on $34 billion in American goods, is a critical soybean market for USA producers.

The report assesses the immediate damage to the U.S. economy at $13 billion to $14 billion, with much larger indirect costs from retaliatory measures by the United States' trading partners. Their shipments will now be subject to a 25 percent tariff, which will instantly make their crops far costlier in China.

Thomas Donahue, president of the US Chamber of Commerce, said Monday the tariffs were "simply taxes that raise prices for everyone". The next three most-impacted states after SC are Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin - with a combined $5.1 billion in exports.

But based on tariff data, Trump's top targets aren't guarding their trade much more than the US.

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The U.S. has complained about Chinese policies that Washington said either forced companies to relinquish key technology or allowed China to steal it outright.

For example, the Chamber said Texas could see $3.9 billion USA worth of exports targeted by retaliatory tariffs; Tennessee, $1.4 billion United States; and SC, $3 billion US.

Trump initially granted Canada, EU members and other nations exemptions on the metal tariffs - 25% on steel and 10% on aluminum. "And the reason is because if they're not fine, I'm going to tax their cars coming into America, and that's the big one", Trump said. Harley Davidson announced it was moving some manufacturing overseas to avoid European Union motorcycle tariffs brought in as a response to U.S. duties on steel and aluminium imports. Trump says the WTO has allowed the United States to be taken advantage of in global trade.

The EU said in its submission that EU companies make around 2.9 million cars in the U.S., which supports 120,000 jobs, or 420,000 jobs if vehicle dealerships and auto part retailers are included.

Trump's trade policies are unpopular among US voters as well, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released Monday. He noted that European carmakers create over half a million jobs in the U.S.

Despite questioning the probe's legitimacy, the European Union has requested to take part in a Commerce public hearing on July 19-20.

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