The European Union is preparing tariffs on $20 billion in U.S. goods should President Trump move forward with trade levies on imported cars, the EU’s trade commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom said Wednesday.
“We hope that it doesn’t come to that and that we can find a solution. If not, the EU Commission is preparing a rather long list of many American goods. It would be around $20 billion,” she told Reuters.
The tariffs will not be directed as specific states but will be “more general goods such as agricultural products, machinery, high-tech products and other things,” she explained.
She said that she didn’t think U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin’s proposal to drop tariffs, non-tariff trade barriers and subsidies was serious, pointing out that the U.S. has laws and subsidies protecting American industries.
“We tried earlier in TTIP negotiations to make the United States loosen those laws. It was completely impossible. They did not move a millimeter,” Malmstrom told Dagens Nyheter.
Malmstrom is part of EU delegation in Washington for talks on Wednesday on a long-term trade deal.
“Basically, I’m an optimistic person, but heading in to this I’m moderately optimistic. But one must always try.” (Reuters)
Last month, Trump threatened to put a 20 percent tariff on European cars entering the U.S., writing on Twitter at the time: “Based on the Tariffs and Trade Barriers long placed on the U.S. and it great companies and workers by the European Union, if these Tariffs and Barriers are not soon broken down and removed, we will be placing a 20% Tariff on all of their cars coming into the U.S. Build them here!”