Trump making headway with European car manufacturers

Express:


President Trump’s ambassador to Germany, Richard Grenell, has held high-level talks with German car makers BMW and Volkswagen about dropping car tariffs between the US and Germany.

The manufacturers said they were open to the idea of dropping tariffs as long as it was part of a larger overall industrial scheme.

This comes as trade relations between the EU and US become increasingly tense, with Mr Trump infuriating those in Brussels by slapping huge tariffs on European steel.

In response the European Commission said they were going to add a 25 percent charge on £2.43 billion worth of US goods.

But Germany appears to be considering breaking rank in order to protect their lucrative car industry.

The Wall Street Journal revealed the climbdown while the two parties are deep in talks.

Mr Trump has taken a hardline approach to US-EU trade since taking power, especially when it comes to German car manufacturing.

In January 2017, shortly before being inaugurated as president, he said: “When you walk down Fifth Avenue, everyone has a Mercedes-Benz in front of their house.

"How many Chevrolets do you see in Germany? Not too many, maybe none at all, you do not see anything over there, it's a one-way street.

"I love free trade, but it must be a smart trade for me to call it fair."
...
The car tariffs appear to have gotten the German's attention.  Their tariffs on US cars look like a relic of post-war competitiveness concerns that are no longer valid.  From the US perspective, the European tariffs look unfair and hard to justify.  They still need to climb down on their recently imposed tariffs on whiskey and motorcycles.

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