.comment-link {margin-left:.6em;}

Sunday, March 04, 2018

Trump declares war?

I suppose we should be grateful that the US President has so far only declared war on trade with the US. After all many were predicting worse, though there is still time. That is no consolation for the many thousands of workers whose jobs will be affected if Trump's threats come to pass.

As the Guardian reports, Donald Trump has escalated the threat of a trade war with Europe, warning that the US will slap a tax on cars made on the continent if the European Union (EU) retaliates against tariffs on imports of steel and aluminium:

The European commission president, Jean-Claude Juncker, said the bloc was prepared to respond forcefully by targeting US imports such as Harley-Davidson motorbikes, Levi’s jeans and Kentucky bourbon whiskey.

On Saturday Trump hit back in typical style, writing on Twitter: “If the EU wants to further increase their already massive tariffs and barriers on US companies doing business there, we will simply apply a Tax on their Cars which freely pour into the US. They make it impossible for our cars (and more) to sell there. Big trade imbalance!”

In another tweet, the president railed against “very stupid” trade deals by earlier administrations and said other countries “laugh at what fools our leaders have been. No more!”

Trump has previously attacked car manufacturers in Europe, especially in Germany, with which the US has a huge trade deficit. Last year, in an interview with the German newspaper Bild, he criticised companies such as BMW, Daimler and Volkswagen for failing to produce more cars on US soil and threatened a border tax of 35% on vehicles imported to the US market.

Where the UK stands in all of this has yet to be seen. Steel produced here is exported to the USA in large quantities and a hiking of the tariff barrier could well impact on the future of British steel making. Whilst we are within the EU free trade area, we have some clout with which to try and force a climb-down by Trump. However, if we leave the EU we will be at the mercy of America's bigger economy.

In these circumstances we are better within the EU than out.
Comments: Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?