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Trump auto tariffs, trade war barreling ahead

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Allegri/Reuters

  • Advisers to President Donald Trump are reportedly
    rushing to stop him from imposing 25% tariffs on around $200
    billion worth of foreign automobile imports.
  • Trump is scheduled to meet with European Commission
    Jean-Claude Juncker on Wednesday to negotiate a solution to
    avoid more tarifffs.
  • If those talks fail and Trump goes forward with the
    auto tariffs, the EU’s trade commissioner has said the EU will
    impose retaliatory measures on $20 billion worth of US
    goods. 

Advisers to President Donald Trump are reportedly rushing to stop
him from going forward with a plan to impose massive 25% tariffs
on around $200 billion worth of foreign automobile imports,
The Washington Post reported on
Wednesday. 

Despite strong objections from his economic advisers, key GOP
leaders, and business executives, Trump wants to move full speed
ahead with this new round of auto tariffs, people familiar with
the discussions told the Post. 

Even as the White House is currently giving $12 billion in
emergency assistance to
American farmers hurt in the crossfire of his administration’s
trade battles, Trump has continued his criticisms of foreign
countries over trade.

“Every time I see a weak politician asking to stop Trade
talks or the use of Tariffs to counter unfair Tariffs, I wonder,
what can they be thinking?” Trump wrote in a Wednesday morning tweet. “Are
we just going to continue and let our farmers and country get
ripped off? Lost $817 Billion on Trade last year. No
weakness!”

So far, Trump’s administration has already enacted sweeping tariffs on foreign
steel, aluminum, washing machines, and solar energy equipment
imports, in addition to specifically targeting $34 billion of
Chinese goods. 

The developments on auto parts come as Trump is scheduled to meet
with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker on
Wednesday to try and negotiate a solution to the US’ trade battle
with the European Union. 

Juncker will reportedly propose two solutions to Trump, a
European official familiar with the plans told the Post. The
first would be an across-the-board decrease in auto tariffs among
all countries that export automobiles, and the second would be a
deal between the US and EU to eliminate tariffs on all industrial
products. 

If the talks fail to produce a compromise and Trump goes ahead
with the auto tariffs, the situation will only continue to
escalate. The EU’s trade commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom said the EU
is prepared to hit $20 billion worth of US imports with
retaliatory tariffs. 

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