Trump threatens 20 percent tariffs on European Union cars

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"Based on the Tariffs and Trade Barriers long placed on the U.S. and it great companies and workers by the European Union, if these Tariffs and Barriers are not soon broken down and removed, we will be placing a 20% Tariff on all of their cars coming into the U.S. Build them here!", he tweeted.

In a tweet Friday, Trump complains about European Union trade barriers and vowed "if these Tariffs and Barriers are not soon broken down and removed, we will be placing a 20% Tariff on all of their cars coming into the U.S. Build them here!"

The initial wave of European Union retaliatory tariffs is aimed at American goods worth €2.8 billion ($3.2 billion).

The president told the European carmakers to "Build them here!" - but many European carmakers build a large percentage of their vehicles in the United States already, according to the EU. Ford Motor shares went into the red and were down 0.5%, while General Motors shares were off 0.3%. Under the US's Trade Expansion Act of 1962, such a scenario could allow Trump to raise import tariffs to protect national interests. The deadline for completing the investigation is February, 2019, but United States commerce secretary Wilbur Ross said on Thursday that the department aims to wrap up the probe much earlier, by late July or August. This led to to fears China would impose retaliatory tactics, making US-made examples of the Mercedes GLE-Class, GLS-Class and C-Class more expensive to export to China.

Trump has threatened duties on up to $450 billion of imports from China. A group representing major USA and foreign vehicle makers has said it was "confident that vehicle imports do not pose a national security risk". "Automakers support reducing trade barriers across the board and achieving fairness through facilitating rather than inhibiting trade".

There is evidence suggesting that, for decades, imports from overseas have eroded our domestic auto industry.

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Sales to the US fell 10 percent to 494,000 vehicles, while Germany automakers produced 804,000 vehicles in the United States previous year.

Mr Trump's comment came amid a United States national security probe of auto imports. He told automakers at a White House meeting in May that he was planning tariffs on some imported vehicles.

The tariff proposal has drawn sharp condemnation from Republican lawmakers and business groups.

A group representing major USA and foreign automakers has said it was "confident that vehicle imports do not pose a national security risk".

India confirmed this week it would impose retaliatory tariffs on a range of American goods, including apples, walnuts and some chemical and metal products, from August 4. Volkswagen imports all of its luxury brands - Audi, Porsche, Bentley and Bugatti.

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