EU delivers stark warning to US over auto tariffs

President Trump’s approach to trade has alarmed world leaders and members of the U.S. business community

The EU, which described the move as "pure protectionism", introduced duties on USA products in return, as did Mexico, Canada, Turkey and India.

Plastics parts makers also expressed worry. It would break worldwide law and "further damage the reputation of the United States", it said.

And Japanese plastics processor Toyoda Gosei Co. Data collected by the nation's biggest business organization shows that Texas and other states that helped Trump win the White House face the heaviest brunt of his protectionist trade policies. It's the same approach the Trump administration used before it slapped tariffs on steel and aluminum imports earlier this year.

A group of nearly 60 USA business associations, including the National Foreign Trade Council, have urged Congress to exert greater oversight of the Trump administration's use of tariffs and other trade policy measures. The EU has also requested to participate in the public hearing to be held by the Department of Commerce scheduled for 19 and 20 July.

Last Friday, the European Union said that tariffs on cars and vehicle parts were unjustifiable and did not make economic sense, according to a 10-page report sent to the United States Commerce Department.

Those sentiments were echoed in an MSNBC appearance Monday by Tim Phillips, president of the Koch brothers-funded group Americans for Prosperity.

"All of these factors would substantially increase the costs of exporting passenger cars to these markets from the United States and deteriorate the market access for BMW in these jurisdictions, potentially leading to strongly reduced export volumes and negative effects on investment and employment in the United States", BMW said in the letter.

"The European Union past year made, if you look at a trade surplus, which I think is a very important thing, a hundred and fifty one billion dollars", emphasized Trump.

Similarly, the head of US operations for Kitchener, Ontario-based injection molder Mitchell Plastics, said he feared tariffs would raise prices, lower demand and hurt the 800 workers at company factories in Michigan, Indiana and Alabama.

In its submission, now available online, the European Union reiterates its firm opposition to the proliferation of measures taken on supposed national security grounds for the purposes of economic protection. I have a feeling [López Obrador] is going to be fine.

But others supported the investigation. Starting on Monday, the campaign focuses on tariffs being issued by China, Canada, Mexico, and the European Union. Benchmark U.S. crude fell 12 cents to $74.03 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. USW urged the administration to exempt Canada from tariffs, however, saying it is a strategic partner. Last week, the president increased his threats, suggesting a 20 percent tariff on vehicle imports. "We cant send our cars and if we do they charge many, many times the tax that we stupidly don't charge". The US's current, long-standing rate stands at 2%. "Some of these countries don't even take our cars". If the USA starts taxing Chinese imports Friday, Beijing plans to impose 25 percent tariffs on 545 us products worth $34 billion a year - from soybeans and lobsters to sport-utility vehicles and whiskey.

Officials in Brussels stressed that European car-makers account for up to 26-percent of USA automotive output. Employment in the USA auto sector, which accounts for over four million jobs, could be particularly harmed.

And it anxious that the stakes are higher with auto tariffs.

The commission said "up to $294 billion of U.S. exports. could be subject to countermeasures across sectors of the United States economy", which was equivalent to a staggering 19 percent of total USA exports in 2017.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce released an analysis of how tariffs would affect all 50 states.

Trump, however, has repeatedly defended his position, criticizing the European Union, Canada, and China on trade both during the Fox interview and at a recent rally in SC, where Trump went as far as to declare the United States the "piggybank" other nations like to take from.

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