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'Ready, fire, aim': Trump widens trade war with tariff treats on cars

A worker grinds a steel pipe to be used in air ducts inside a workshop in an industrial area in Mumbai

Trump's tariff rhetoric further undermines a USA vehicle market already in its second year of decline after record sales in 2016, said Cody Lusk, president of the American International Automobile Dealers Association.

Together with USA tariffs against Mexico and Canada, the trade battles have raised the spectre of a global trade war, spooking financial markets that fear major consequences to the global economy.

EU countries approved a raft of tariffs on Thursday (14 June) targeting U.S. goods including whiskey and motorcycles in retaliation against painful duties imposed by President Donald Trump on European metals.

"We don't want to fight (over trade) in public via Twitter".

Economists noted that the amount of money involved with India's levies dwarfed in comparison with that of China - U.S. -India trade was $126 billion a year ago, while U.S.

"We've never seen anything like this", said Mary Lovely, a Syracuse University economist who studies global trade - at least not since countries tried to wall themselves off from foreign competition during the Great Depression.

Another one of Trump's Friday morning tweets was directed at Mexico, and he took on a much friendlier tone than usual when discussing the NAFTA partner's trade and immigration policies.

In addition, the two German automakers must contend with proposed tariff increases on imported parts and steel, which could boost the cost of their US -built vehicles.

The Washington trade association for BMW, Daimler and Volkswagen's operations in the USA warned consumers will be harmed by higher tariffs.

Hit the link for more, including statements from various European automakers. They totally rely on us, which is fine with me.

Today, as Reuters news agency reported, the President of the United States Donald Trump threatened to escalate a trade war with Europe by imposing a 20 percent tariff on all us imports of European Union-assembled cars.

The European Autos Stocks Index fell sharply after Trump's tweet and closed down 0.5 percent. Thus, while Trump can and likely will hit Europe where it hurts, the European Union has already largely exhausted its very limited ability to retaliate against America. The president justified the move by saying imported metals threatened America's national security - a dubious justification that countries have used rarely because it can be so easily abused.

Struggling to overcome a slump in US demand, Harley has been aiming to boost sales of its motorcycles overseas to 50 percent of total annual volume from about 43 percent now. Trump had previously described China's unusually high import tariff as "stupid trade" and threatened to raise tariffs on EU-imported cars.

The Section 232 investigation is the same approach the Trump administration took when applying steel and aluminum tariffs earlier this year, citing national security concerns. Several weeks ago, he ordered Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross to launch what's known as a "232" investigation.

"The upshot: By exporting more finished vehicles from the United States than it imports to the United States, BMW may be helping to lower America's trade deficit". Europeans claim that breaks global trade rules.