US president Donald Trump said he is serious about imposing tariffs on European cars unless the European Union agrees on a transatlantic deal.
Trump is currently attending the annual World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. The forum is often used by the world’s leaders to privately agree investments and business deals.
“I met with the new head of the European Commission, who’s terrific. And I had a great talk. But I said, ‘look, if we don’t get something, I’m going to have to take action’ and the action will be very high tariffs on their cars and on other things that come into our country”, he said, without specifying a deadline for when he would make the decision.
The EU is also hoping for a deal with the US. EU Commission president Ursula von der Leyen said that “we are expecting in a few weeks to have an agreement that we can sign together”.
“The European Union is tougher to deal with than anybody. They’ve taken advantage of our country for many years”, Trump told the media, and added: “Ultimately, it will be very easy because if we can’t make a deal, we’ll have to put 25% tariffs on their cars”.
Trump has also targeted the digital tax sector. He and French president Emanuel Macron agreed to give a chance to negotiations and not impose tariffs, but only until the end of the year, in hopes that a deal within the framework of the OECD will be reached.
In 2018, Trump angered the EU by not excluding it from tariffs on steel and aluminum imports.