France says Europe will retaliate if U.S. imposes auto tariffs

Europe will hit back if U.S. President Donald Trump follows through with a threat to slap import tariffs on European-made cars, France’s finance minister said on Monday.

French Finance Minister, Bruno Le Maire

French Finance Minister, Bruno Le Maire

Trump escalated already burning trade tensions on Friday by threatening to hit all imports of cars assembled in the European Union (EU) with a 20 per cent tariff.

The threat comes shortly after the United States imposed tariffs on European-made steel and aluminium in a move Washington’s NATO allies blasted as unjustifiable.

“If the United States hits us again with a 20 per cent increase on cars we will respond again. We don’t want an escalation, but we are the ones being attacked,” Le Maire told the Anglo-American Press Association.

Trump posted his threat on Twitter the day European Union reprisals took effect against U.S. tariffs on European steel and aluminium.

The EU targeted $3.2 billion in American goods exported to the 28-member bloc, including bourbon and Harley Davidsons (HOG.N).

SOURCE: Reuters

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