Threats of Trump on the car: Europe willing to discuss, and… fight back

In the automotive sector, the idea of a plurilateral agreement that will bring together the main producing countries to reduce tariff barriers has also been discussed (Photo -. AFP)

A few days of discussion, a decisive with Donald Trump, the EU is ready to “get off the beaten path” to put an end to the trade tensions with the United States, while preparing to impose a tax of new american products in the event of attack on its cars.

The president of the european Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, will meet with the us president in Washington on 25 July with the objective of defusing the trade dispute that threatens to worsen between Europeans and Americans.

“We live in a difficult time when we are talking about the global trade. It comes to (…) resist the charm of a unilateralism reckless”, he acknowledged Thursday during a conference in Madrid. “We must continue to seek trade agreements are well reflected in the respect for our values, our principles”, he nevertheless argued.

After customs duties in punitive damages imposed in June on steel and aluminum in european, Donald Trump now says it is ready to impose a tax on american imports of cars produced in the EU.

“We go there with the best of intentions, in the hopes of”de-escalation”, urged Thursday the european commissioner for Trade, Cecilia Malmström, who will accompany Jean-Claude Juncker in Washington.

But if the United States put in execution their threat on the motor, which “would be a disaster”, according to her, the EU has planned to retaliate.

“We are in the process of preparing with the member States a list of counter-measures, and we have clearly indicated to our american partners,” said the commissioner, Swedish, the image of what had been done in the case of the steel and the aluminum.

The EU had prepared a list of u.s. products iconic, such as jeans, Harley-Davidson and the peanut butter, now heavily taxed, to compensate to the tune of 2.8 billion euros for the damage caused to its industry.

According to a european sources, the list of counter-measures concerning the cars door on a little less than 10 billion euros.

The u.s. Commerce secretary, Wilbur Ross, has warned Thursday that the widespread opposition to u.s. taxes on cars will not prevent the United States to impose if they are seen as legitimate to protect national security.

In total, 45 individuals, representing national and international companies, industry groups, unions, foreign countries, as well as officials of the department of Defense, have begun to be heard Thursday at the department of Commerce in Washington in the framework of the investigation aimed to determine whether the imports are likely to threaten the national security, justifying the imposition of additional taxes of approximately 20% on the sector.

The overwhelming majority expressed its opposition to such tariffs, highlighting the potential job losses in the United States.

“It is not a plebiscite,” responded Wilbur Ross on the american channel CNBC.

Jean-Claude Juncker went to Washington without a negotiating mandate on behalf of member States, but with the intention of “out of the box” in order to “find a solution” with the Americans, said Cecilia Malmström.

– “Rhetoric becoming more aggressive” –

The EU attaches great importance to the reform of the world trade Organization (WTO), an institution regularly contested by the United States.

In the automotive sector, the idea of a plurilateral agreement that will bring together the main producing countries to reduce tariff barriers, a time defended by Germany, was also discussed.

Other possibility: include the automotive sector in a trade agreement as a minimum, with the United States on industrial goods.

The EU currently imposes 10 per cent customs duties on vehicles imported from the United States, including those manufactured by european manufacturers, while the United States a tax of 2.5% on imports of cars and 25% trucks and pick-ups.

The threat of Donald Trump on automobiles is of particular concern to Germany, where this key sector, which employs 800,000 people.

“We have seen in the past that these meetings were unpredictable,” admitted Thursday Mrs. Malmström, blaming the “rhetoric becoming more aggressive” of the Americans, which “undermines decades of foreign policy.”

Whether it be Nato, the agreement on the iranian nuclear or global warming, the points of friction are many with the american president, who has recently been estimated that the EU was an “enemy” of the United States on the business plan.

In addition to the trade, Jean-Claude Juncker and Donald Trump should also talk of foreign policy, counter-terrorism and energy.

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