(WASHINGTON) — Escalating the trade war rhetoric, President Donald Trump took aim at European automakers on Saturday.
The president took to Twitter to threaten the European Union with higher taxes, saying there was a “big trade imbalance. Trump said the U.S. would order a tax on European imported cars if the EU responded to the tariffs he announced on Thursday with their own.
If the E.U. wants to further increase their already massive tariffs and barriers on U.S. companies doing business there, we will simply apply a Tax on their Cars which freely pour into the U.S. They make it impossible for our cars (and more) to sell there. Big trade imbalance!
Trump said the U.S. will impose a 10 percent tariff on imported aluminum and a 25 percent tariff on imported steel.
His latest tweet was an apparent response to the European Commission, the executive arm of the EU that draws up proposals for new legislation, whose president wrote in a statement on Thursday the EU would “react firmly and commensurately to defend our interests.”
“The EU has been a close security ally of the US for decades,” President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker said. “We will not sit idly while our industry is hit with unfair measures that put thousands of European jobs at risk.”
On Friday, Trump tweeted that “trade wars are good, and easy to win,” but thousands of workers in the U.S. are employed by European automakers, including Volkswagen and BMW. A BMW plant in Spartanburg, South Carolina, employs 10,000 workers.
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