German auto shares dip on Trump tariff tweet

German auto shares dip on Trump tariff tweet

Donald Trump has threatened to levy import tariffs of 20% on European cars.

US President Donald Trump on Friday threatened to slap a 20 per cent tariff on cars imported from European Union, escalating the trade war he began last month against various countries including China and India.

Turkey said Thursday that it's imposing tariffs worth $267 million on United States goods, targeting items such as coal, paper, walnuts, tobacco, rice, whiskey and cars.

"The BMW Group has been a committed corporate citizen in the United States for more than a quarter-century", said the company when asked for a comment on Trump's latest threat.

The EU imposes a 10 percent tariff on imported US cars.

In fact, the U.S. is the largest export market for cars built in the EU.

European Union trade officials have described the U.S. tariffs on steel and aluminum - justified by the Trump administration on grounds of national security -- as "illegal". Two days of public comments have been scheduled in July, and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said Thursday said the department aims to wrap up the probe by late July or August. Beijing has vowed to immediately retaliate with its own tariffs on USA soybeans and other farm products.

"Of the 1.3 million German cars sold in the USA, more than 800,000 were made on American soil".

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At a hearing this week, Senator Orrin Hatch, a Republican from Utah, said he was "stunned" that the Trump administration was investigating the national security risk of vehicle imports, which is estimated to affect about $200bn worth of imports.

German automakers Mercedes, BMW, and Volkswagen all have plants in southern states and directly employ more than 20,000 USA workers between them, primarily at those factories. "Automakers support reducing trade barriers across the board and achieving fairness through facilitating rather than inhibiting trade".

In the US, Trump has launched an investigation into whether vehicle and automotive parts imports are hindering the sector's ability to compete globally.

Mr Trump's comment came amid a USA national security probe of vehicle imports.

The US followed a similar process for the steel and aluminium industry, which led it to impose tariffs on the foreign metals this spring.

He has previously expressed his distain at German luxury brands, particularly Mercedes-Benz, and its prominence in New York's Fifth Avenue.

Felipe Munoz, global analyst at JATO Dynamics, said: "While German-made cars accounted for 4% of Q1-18 United States sales, American-made cars made only 1.3% of German registrations in the first quarter".

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