President Donald Trump on Saturday threatened the European Union with increased taxes on automobile imports while slamming the “very stupid trade deals and policies” struck by his predecessors, as his administration continues to defend his decision this week to impose unilateral tariffs on steel and aluminum imports.
“The United States has an $800 Billion Dollar Yearly Trade Deficit because of our “very stupid” trade deals and policies,” the president wrote on Twitter. “Our jobs and wealth are being given to other countries that have taken advantage of us for years. They laugh at what fools our leaders have been. No more!”
He added: “If the E.U. wants to further increase their already massive tariffs and barriers on U.S. companies doing business there, we will simply apply a Tax on their Cars which freely pour into the U.S,” Trump added. “They make it impossible for our cars (and more) to sell there. Big trade imbalance!”
On Thursday, Trump announced plans to levy a 25 percent tax on steel imports and 10 percent on aluminum imports to protect U.S. national security interests. His decision caused a drop in stock markets and was criticized by many Republican lawmakers.
Many countries, including U.S. allies like Canada, said they opposed the proposal. In its response, the European Union said it would consider imposing retaliatory tariffs on politically sensitive products from Republican-run states, including motorcycles, clothing and alcohol.
Despite his threat, Trump would not be able to impose tariffs on the E.U cars without going through a formal process, like the administration did for steel and aluminium tariffs — otherwise Congress would need to act.