Promised tariffs on foreign steel and aluminum are being used as leverage in the ongoing NAFTA negotiations.
President Donald Trump has issued fresh threats to implement tariffs on European cars.
Responding to talk of a "trade war" over his promise to introduce tariffs on foreign steel and aluminum, Trump argued he would respond to any EU retaliation by taxing cars.
"If the E.U. wants to further increase their already massive tariffs and barriers on U.S. companies doing business there, we will simply apply a Tax on their Cars which freely pour into the US," he wrote on Twitter. "They make it impossible for our cars (and more) to sell there. Big trade imbalance!"
The president also suggested the steel and aluminum tariffs would only be lifted if a "fair NAFTA agreement" is signed. It is unclear if the comments involve exemptions for Canada and Mexico or a broader promise to drop tariffs on imported metals from other countries.
Trump's proposed tariffs would place a global tariff of at least 24 percent on steel imports from all countries, with a tariff of at least 53 percent on steel imported from China, India, Russia, Korea and eight other countries.
The promised tariffs have not yet begun penalizing imports, suggesting the proposal could be a negotiating tactic as NAFTA negotiations drag on without any clear resolution.
We have large trade deficits with Mexico and Canada. NAFTA, which is under renegotiation right now, has been a bad deal for U.S.A. Massive relocation of companies & jobs. Tariffs on Steel and Aluminum will only come off if new & fair NAFTA agreement is signed. Also, Canada must..— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 5, 2018