US threats to impose tariffs on European autos did not come up in trade talks in Washington, European Union Trade Commissioner Phil Hogan said Thursday.

“It was not mentioned, it was hardly mentioned,” Hogan told reporters in the US capital. “I think it should be good news for Germany.”

The Trump administration has repeatedly threatened to put tariffs on European automobiles imported into the US, citing threats to national security. But a deadline to make a decision passed last November without a comment from the White House after the EU threatened to impose retaliatory tariffs on US imports.

Hogan’s remarks come after German Defense Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer earlier in the day confirmed a report in The Washington Post on Wednesday that the United States last week tried to strong arm three EU nations by threatening a 25% tariff on auto imports if they did not take a tougher stance on Iran.

Graphic showing origin of automobiles sold in the USA in 2017

The report, in which one EU official described the Trump administration’s tactics as “extortion,” came as Germany, France and Britain this week formally initiated a dispute resolution mechanism in response to Iranian breaches of the 2015 international nuclear deal.

The three EU countries are signatories to the agreement, known as the JCPOA, which the United States withdrew from in 2018.

Hogan said he learned of the US threats through the media.

“I certainly haven’t been briefed,” he said.

Airbus, Boeing subsidies 

The top EU trade official is in the US capital on a multi-day trip to meet with senior administration officials and members of Congress.

Hogan also said Thursday that there remained distance between Washington and Brussels over how to resolve a dispute about EU subsidies to aircraft maker Airbus.

The United States last October imposed tariffs worth $7.5 billion  (€6.7 billion) on European exports after the World Trade Organization (WTO) ruled that the subsidies were illegal.

The WTO has already found US aircraft maker Boeing received billions of dollars of illegal subsidies in a separate case and is expected to rule within months to allow the EU to impose its own retaliatory tariffs.

Hogan said the EU would have “no alternative” than to slap tariffs on US goods when the WTO announces a decision.

“The EU has shared concrete proposals with the US on dealing with clearly identified aircraft subsidies and on future support to our respective aircraft sectors,” Hogan said at an event held at the CSIS think tank, urging the US side to negotiate and end the dispute.

Read more:US, China and Germany profit most from global free trade, says WTO 

Agriculture trade remains a stumbling block in reaching a larger trade deal, Hogan said, but he noted the EU had increased imports of soybeans, corn and hormone-free beef.  

Overall, he said the two sides have made progress to avoid a trade war.

“Imposing tariffs on each other serves nobody’s long-term interest. Tariffs are in reality just another form of taxation on businesses and consumers,” he said.

cw/sms (AFP, dpa)

Each evening at 1830 UTC, DW’s editors send out a selection of the day’s hard news and quality feature journalism. You can sign up to receive it directly here.

 

Source

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You May Also Like

Former militants back Indonesia for not repatriating ex-Isis members

Jakarta will not allow 689 Indonesians who had joined the Isis movement in Syria and Iraq to return to their home country Experts say the repatriation would have carried the risk of terror attacks, and that intensive deradicalisation is needed…

Heavy fire breaks out inside Delhi Transport Department (VIDEO)

The blaze started at around 8:38am local time on Monday, NDTV reported, citing Delhi Fire Service Chief Atul Garg. A video from the scene shows the building’s ground floor engulfed in flames, with plumes of grey smoke billowing up to…

Crackdown on unruly airline passengers begins next month

An amendment to a global treaty will soon make it easier for countries to prosecute passengers who cause disruptions, delays or threaten safety It follows an amendment to a 1963 agreement that caused confusion over who has jurisdiction when punishing…

Storm Ciara helps Boeing 747 smash records with 1,327 kph crossing

Original source: Euronews Storm Ciara has helped a British Airways plane to make what is believed to be the fastest New York-to-London flight by a conventional airliner. Data released by flight analysis firm FlightRadar 24 last night suggested that the…