WASHINGTON, Feb 14 — The European Union is “convinced” US President Donald Trump will not impose new punitive tariffs on imported cars as long as trade talks between Brussels and Washington continue, the EU ambassador said yesterday.
Trump has threatened to slap 25 per cent duties on European autos, especially targeting Germany, which he says has harmed the American car industry.
The US Commerce Department is due to present its report by Sunday on the possible national security threat posed by auto imports.
“Then the president will have 90 days I think to decide what he wants to do,” Ambassador David O’Sullivan told reporters.
“To my knowledge, no one has seen this report. We do not know what it will contain,” he said.
But Trump at the end of July reached a trade truce with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and pledged no new tariffs while the negotiations were ongoing.
The White House has used the national security argument to impose steep tariffs on steel and aluminum imports among other products, drawing instant retaliation from the EU, Canada, Mexico and China.
Trump and Juncker paused the brewing trade war and opened negotiations to pave the way for increased trade in certain areas.
“The agreement reached between President Juncker and President Trump is very clear: as long as the talks continue, both sides refrain from introducing new tariffs and we are confident that ongoing discussions are making progress,” O’Sullivan said.
“Therefore in this context, we are not expecting new rates at this time.” — AFP