Trump, EU Officials State Their Positions on Trade, Car Tariffs

JM Ashby
Written by JM Ashby

The Trump regime has now formally declared that the next deadline for Trump's tariffs on foreign cars and car parts arrived in six months or 180-days, pushing the deadline to November 18th.

With that said, Trump has the authority to impose tariffs on foreign cars and parts at any time before November 18th and I would say that's more likely than not.

In the formal announcement delaying his tariffs, Trump declared that any deal with the European Union (EU) must reduce imports, but EU officials responded by rejecting the notion of artificially limiting exports with quotas.

From NBC News:

“The negotiation process will be led by United States Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and, if agreements are not reached within 180 days, the President will determine whether and what further action needs to be taken.”

In his proclamation, Trump argued in part that “domestic conditions of competition must be improved by reducing imports.” [...]

In a statement Friday, EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom said “we completely reject the notion that our car exports are a national security threat.” She added that the trade bloc “is prepared to negotiate a limited trade agreement” including cars, but not so-called managed trade, in which the partners could set targets like quotas.

When the time comes, Trump may decide that destroying the auto industry would not be beneficial to his reelection campaign, but I believe that is the only thing that could possibly stop this from happening.

Trump has not negotiated his way to as substantive trade agreement in the last two years and everything we know tells us negotiations with the EU will begin from an untenable position that calls for impractical and politically-dubious concessions on the part of the EU. Foreign nations have dignity and the agency to preserve it in the face of Trump's threats.

The actual economics of foreign trade have not played into any of Trump's decision or negotiating tactics. Everything he does is about appearances.

  • Draxiar

    Anyone else get the impression the EU just wants to put the US in time-out?

  • muselet

    The EU will not agree to the sort of one-sided, I-win-you-lose deal—if that be the right word—Donald Trump envisions.

    “[W]e completely reject the notion that our car exports are a national security threat.” That’s sensible and has the additional advantage of being true, but Trump doesn’t want to see Mercedes in front of Trump Tower, so of course they’re a national security threat.

    Meanwhile, Vladimir Putin smiles quietly to himself.