Europe's tariffs on American exports take effect

23 June, 2018, 00:27 | Author: Martin Tyler
  • US President Donald Trump speaks with the press | Mandel Ngan  AFP via Getty Images

The remarks from the president follow previous threats reported in the German media that the Trump was threatening to impose a 25 per cent import tariff on European luxury cars.

"BMW's largest plant in the world is based in Spartanburg, South Carolina, and export cars from the United States to other countries".

"The BMW Group has been a committed corporate citizen in the USA for more than a quarter-century", said the company when asked for a comment on Trump's latest threat.

Earlier this month, Mexico imposed a series of tariffs on $3 billion worth of United States exports of pork, apples, potatoes, bourbon as well as different types of cheese.

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Trump has already directed US trade officials to study whether auto imports pose a threat to national security that would justify hitting them with tariffs or quotas.

In a retaliatory move, China responded with a 25% tariff on USA imports including Bourbon, which will come into play on 6 July. Administration officials have said China should strengthen protections for USA companies' intellectual property, and reduce tariffs on US products.

Trump's trade policies have also escalated conflict with Canada and Mexico as he seeks to renegotiate the $1.1 trillion North American Free Trade Agreement on terms more favorable to Washington.

At a hearing this week, Senator Orrin Hatch, a Republican from Utah, said he was "stunned" that the Trump administration was investigating the national security risk of vehicle imports, which is estimated to affect about $200bn worth of imports. "Any attempt to increase taxes on German cars would have a larger effect on BMW and Mercedes, and a lower effect on Volkswagen, as most of the sales of the premium brands correspond to imported models (63% for Mercedes and 64% for BMW). Automakers support reducing trade barriers across the board and achieving fairness through facilitating rather than inhibiting trade".

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United States president Donald Trump threatens 20 per cent tariffs on European Union cars.

In the US, Trump has launched an investigation into whether vehicle and automotive parts imports are hindering the sector's ability to compete globally.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce noted that American auto production has doubled over the past decade, and said tariffs "would deal a staggering blow to the very industry it purports to protect and would threaten to ignite a global trade war".

Daimler earlier this week warned that it expects lower sales of Mercedes-Benz cars due to a tax on the import of U.S. vehicles into China. It accounts for 5 percent of VW brand sales and 12 percent of Audi sales.

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