Trump Threatens Very Specific 20-Percent Unilateral European Automobile Import Tariffs

Illustration for article titled Trump Threatens Very Specific 20-Percent Unilateral European Automobile Import Tariffs
Photo: Porsche

In what could be a third volley in the coming trade war with the European Union, following steel and aluminum tariffs by the U.S. and a retaliatory tariff on motorcycles and denim by the European Union, President Donald Trump has again threatened to impose an import tariff on Europe-made vroom vroom machines. While the threats have been coming for over a month now, this is the first time that the president has placed a numerical value on the car tariff.


The statement in question:

The E.U. has, for a long time, levied a 10-percent import on the MSRP of all U.S. auto imports. Trump and one of his trade aides, Peter Navarro, see this as an incredibly unfair deal.

Because of this perceived trade imbalance, Trump is threatening to impose a tariff double the size if the E.U.’s tariffs are not removed. The US currently imposes a 2.5-percent tariff on European auto imports, and 25-percent on light-truck and van imports, the so-called Chicken Tax.

The president is certain that U.S. auto workers are getting a raw deal on this trade imbalance, convinced of the fact that if people could no longer afford BMWs, they would instead purchase Cadillacs.


While there may be some truth to that, some senate Republicans believe the policy to be short-sighted. Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chair Bob Corker (R-TN) has called the idea “dangerous”, and Rep. Bradley Byrne (R-AL) has urged the president to consider his constituents in port cities like Mobile, AL, or the workers in plants owned by European manufacturers.

Byrne stated to the Washington Post, “These are a lot of jobs and I’ll tell you I know a lot of those people in those plants, they all voted for Donald Trump. These are Trump voters. .. He would not be acting in their best interests.”

Jalopnik contributor with a love for everything sketchy and eclectic.



Heres’s a guide to Trump’s foreign policy. First, think - what would Putin want?

  • Destroy US trade with allies? Check.
  • Destroy US treaty with Iran? Check.
  • Buddy up to Putin’s friend Kim Jong Un? Check.
  • Divide the US populace based on racism and xenophobia? Check.
  • Attack US law enforcement and CIA? Check.
  • Create concentration camps in the US? Check.
  • Attack investigation into Russian attack on our election? Check.

Seems pretty clear. Trump is even going to meet with his boss in July to ask how he’s doing.