The EU warned the Trump administration against imposing tariffs on auto imports on Monday, saying that such tariffs could lead to global retaliation against some USD 300 billion in US goods, ABC News reports.
European Commission spokesman Margaritis Schinas said the US investigation into the possibility of auto tariffs “lacks legitimacy, factual basis and violates international trade rules,” and that the same could be said about the tariffs the US recently imposed on steel and aluminium imports.
“European cars do not threaten or impair the health of the US industry and economy,” Schinas said, adding that European carmakers create over half a million jobs in the US.
US President Donald Trump cited national security concerns for previous tariffs, but the EU saw the move as “pure protectionism” and imposed new duties on US products as retaliation, as did Mexico, Canada, Turkey and India.
The EU argues that trade restrictions would lead to higher costs for US-based products and effectively become a tax on American consumers.
Last week, European Council President Donald Tusk warned that Trump’s policies are harming trans-Atlantic relations and that “we must be ready to prepare our Union for worst-case scenarios.”