WASHINGTON: US President Donald Trump said on Tuesday the government was completing a study about increasing import tariffs on cars from the European Union and suggested he would take action soon.
“We are finishing our study of Tariffs on cars from the EU in that they have long taken advantage of the US in the form of Trade Barriers and Tariffs. In the end it will all even out – and it won’t take very long!” Trump tweeted.
On Friday Trump threatened to impose a 20% tariff on all imports of EU-assembled cars, a month after his administration launched an investigation into whether auto imports posed a national security threat.
On Saturday, a senior European Commission official said the EU would respond to any US move to raise tariffs on cars made in the bloc.
The US Commerce Department has a deadline of February 2019 to investigate whether imports of automobiles and auto parts pose a risk to US national security.
US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said last Thursday the department aimed to wrap up the probe by late July or August.
Trump has repeatedly singled out German auto imports to the United States for criticism.
Trump told carmakers at a meeting in the White House on May 11 that he was planning to impose tariffs of 20% or 25% on some imported vehicles and sharply criticized Germany’s automotive trade surplus with the United States.
The United States currently imposes a 2.5% tariff on imported passenger cars from the EU and a 25% tariff on imported pickup trucks. The EU imposes a 10% tariff on imported US cars.