Trump will not impose tariffs on European cars, EU chief says

US President Donald Trump and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker (L) met in Washington in July 2018.

Saul Loeb | AFP | Getty Images

The United States won’t be announcing tariffs on European cars next week, according to Jean-Claude Juncker, the outgoing president of the European Commission.

U.S. President Donald Trump has until November 13 to decide whether to apply new duties on European carmakers. This after Trump argued in May that U.S. imports of European autos pose a national security threat to the U.S.

In an interview with the German newspaper, Sueddeutsche Zeitung, Juncker, who leads the EU’s executive arm, said Trump will not go ahead with new tariffs.

“Trump will ruffle a bit, but there will be no automobile tariffs” Juncker told the German newspaper, according to Google translate.

The trade relationship between the U.S. and the EU has been tense since Trump came to power and ended negotiations for a trade deal with Europe that the previous U.S. administration was conducting. Furthermore, last year, Trump announced steel and aluminium tariffs on Europe. The EU retaliated a few months later with duties on 2.8 billion euros of U.S. goods.

More recently, the U.S. announced tariffs on $7.5 billion of European goods in October. This decision was related to a dispute at the World Trade Organization (WTO) over subsidies to airlines.

Nonetheless, CNBC reported that EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom and Robert Lighthizer, the U.S. trade representative, had been in contact over transatlantic trade last month during a phone call – the first since the last round of U.S. tariffs on Europe.

U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross also told the Financial Times last month that new talks with Europe could be an alternative to imposing these new car duties in November.

The White House was not immediately available when contacted by CNBC Friday morning.

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