Late last week, tensions regarding trade increased between the U.S. and foreign countries after President Donald Trump threatened to impose tariffs on imported steel and aluminum.
As noted by NBC News, this proposed policy is designed to benefit the steel and aluminum industries in the U.S. by applying tariffs of 25 percent on imported steel, as well as 10 percent on aluminum.
However, a quick response from the European Union on Friday saw European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker suggest that the E.U. could impose tariffs on imports from American companies like Harley-Davidson and Kentucky Bourbon. He explained that the EU “can also do stupid,” according to Euro News.
In what might be seen as an economic counter-strike to Juncker’s claim, Trump once again took to Twitter to announce that if the E.U. actually follows through on this threat, the U.S. will implement tariffs on foreign vehicles coming into the U.S.
“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 tweeted on Saturday.
In an earlier post, the president noted that the U.S. “has an $800 Billion Dollar Yearly Trade Deficit because of our ‘very stupid’ trade deals and policies.”
“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.
In 2016, the E.U. was the largest exporter of automobiles, with Japan coming in a close second, according to the Washington Examiner. The U.S. ranked third, though the data shows it imported more cars from the E.U. than from any other nation.
White House officials insist that America is losing money on its trade deals, which Trump claims have been one-sided for years.
“When a country (USA) is losing many billions of dollars on trade with virtually every country it does business with, trade wars are good, and easy to win,” Trump tweeted on Friday.
And though some may see the move as beneficial because it helps America re-establish itself in the foreign trade market, others — including the countries affected by the deals — have not been so quick to welcome the potential changes.
Along with members of the E.U., Canada stated that it would retaliate against the planned tariffs on steel and aluminum.
Though not taking as drastic of an approach, China has asked for talks with the White House in order to ease growing tensions regarding foreign trade.
Liu He, the top economic adviser to President Xi Jinping, told U.S. business leaders that his country hopes American officials can revive “high-level dialogue” on disputes with trade, according to The Associated Press He added that China would like to negotiate with a new chief liaison.
The adviser also said he will be taking over reform efforts and asked for a list of demands from the U.S. — China’s largest partner in trade — on what China can do in order to ease the tensions.
Amid a series of meetings this past week, Liu spoke with U.S. trade representative Robert Lighthizer, who has been overseeing an investigation into whether or not China has violated U.S. intellectual property rights, especially when it comes to America’s technology industry.
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