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Trump threatens tariffs on EU if no trade deal reached

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US President Donald Trump threatened on Wednesday to impose tariffs on European auto imports if he is unable to strike a trade deal with the EU.

[WASHINGTON] US President Donald Trump threatened on Wednesday to impose tariffs on European auto imports if he is unable to strike a trade deal with the EU.

"We're negotiating. If we don't make the deal, we'll do that," Mr Trump told reporters in response to a question on new tariffs.

Mr Trump's renewed threat against the EU auto industry takes on a new edge as it came two days after the Commerce Department delivered a report that sources said found European car imports constitute a national security threat to the United States.

The report could set the stage for the White House to impose tariffs within 90 days, a move Brussels has vowed to parry with its own set of tariffs. The US already has used the national security argument to slap duties on steel and aluminum imports.

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In one of many aggressive trade moves, Mr Trump, who said he favours tariffs, has threatened 25 per cent duties on European autos, especially targeting Germany, which he says has harmed the American car industry.

Mr Trump reached a truce with the EU following a meeting last July with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, but on Wednesday expressed frustration with the state of talks.

"We're trying to make a deal," Mr Trump said. "They're very tough to make a deal with, the EU. They've been very difficult over a period of time, over many, many years."

The White House also locked in tough high-stakes negotiations with China to find a way to resolve the conflict that saw steep tariffs exchanged between Beijing and Washington.

AFP