Trump threatens tariff on European cars

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President Donald Trump threatened tariffs on European Union-made cars Friday, saying that he was willing to impose a 20% levy, citing barriers to American exports and the need for incentives to move production to the U.S.

The Commission formally adopted a law putting in place the duties on 2.8 billion euros (RM12.9 billion) worth of US goods, including steel and aluminium products, farm produce such as corn and peanuts, bourbon, jeans, and motorcycles.

"This response by the European Union is adequate, it is proportionate and it is reasonable".

"The rules of worldwide trade, which we have developed over the years hand in hand with our American partners, can not be violated without a reaction from our side", Malmstrom added, calling the European Union response "measured, proportionate and fully in line with WTO rules".

Speaking in Ireland, he said: "The trade that we believe in is built on rules, trust and reliable partnership. In 2017, 17.2m vehicles were sold in the U.S., compared with 15.6m in the EU and European Free Trade Association countries.

Canada also promised retaliatory tariffs worth $12.8bn on U.S. products including steel, aluminium, whiskey and orange juice. The US has imposed tariffs on Canada, Mexico and £25bn in Chinese goods.

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, who has said the bloc would target "Harley-Davidson, bourbon and Levi's jeans", said on Thursday the USA decision "goes against all logic and history".

The White House refused to exempt its traditional allies from worldwide tariffs on steel and aluminium, which Trump argues are necessary to protect USA jobs and industry.

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That means the EU's 10 percent tax on USA auto imports and the 2.5 tariff on auto imports in the US would end. It is a $241 million measure that matches the amount of steel and aluminum import duty expected to be collected from India by the United States after the Trump administration imposed the measures earlier this year.

This was the process undertaken last month when Trump raised tariffs for steel and aluminium imports.

The U.S. tariffs hit some $7.5 billion of European products; the EU says that today's measures target almost half that figure, and that it plans to impose a slightly larger block of tariffs later - either in three years, or if/when the WTO rules in its favor.

Japanese vehicle makers accounted for 92,000 jobs in the USA, according to the Japanese Auto Manufacturers Association's annual report.

One of the most frequently discussed items on the E.U.'s list is bourbon, a specialty from the home state of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).

Last year, £171 billion worth of cars were exported from the European Union, with the U.S. accounting for 25% of them.

There could be yet another round of US tariffs. India and Turkey have already targeted USA products, ranging from rice to autos to sunscreen.