The trade row between the transatlantic partners has been gaining momentum, as the European Union said it has no plans to leave proposed US trade restrictions unanswered.
“If the US would impose these car tariffs that would be very unfortunate. We are preparing together with our member states a list of rebalancing measures there as well. And this we have made that clear to our American partners,” EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom said.
She added that the bloc is preparing a list of counter-measures “in the same way as with steel and aluminum,” Sputnik reported.
Next week, Malmstrom together with EU Commission President Jean Claude Juncker is due to meet US President Donald Trump to discuss trade issues.
Brussels has already warned Washington against imposing auto tariffs. Earlier in July, the EU submitted to the US Department of Commerce a 10-page document, in which the bloc expresses its stance on import duties on cars, calling them “unjustifiable” and “senseless” from an economic point of view. According to the submission, some 120,000 jobs were created on US soil by the European companies which make almost 2.9 million cars.
The issue of automotive industry tariffs came to the surface after US President Donald Trump had ordered the Commerce Department in May to conduct an investigation into the bloc’s trade surplus with the US and higher import tariffs on cars. Last week, the President announced that the research was drawing to a close and that Washington was considering the introduction of 20 percent duties on all vehicles assembled in the EU.
Previously, the US imposed tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from the EU, drawing a barrage of criticism from its transatlantic partners and warnings that a full-scale trade war was looming.