On Friday, the 17th of May 2019, adding further strains to an existing acrimony between European Union and United States, US President Donald Trump said that some of the imported auto parts alongside autos had been posing critical security threats, though, he had delayed auto tariffs on EU and Japan for as long as six months amid an exacerbating tariff war with China.
As a response to Trump’s comment, European Trade Commissioner, Cecilia Malmstroem said on Twitter, “we completely reject the notion that our car exports are a national security threat. The EU is prepared to negotiate a limited trade agreement (including) cars, but not WTO-illegal managed trade”.
Nevertheless, at least for now, Trump’s decision had averted a dramatic opening of another front of tariff war with some of United States’ closest allies in Europe and Japan, amid an escalating trade war with China.
On Friday, facing a Saturday deadline to make a decision on whether to put additional tariff on EU- and Japan-made autos and auto parts, the US President had pushed Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer to continue negotiation with EU, Japan alongside other countries, and asked Lighthizer to report back within 180 days. If no deal was reached by then, he would decide the actions to be taken, said US President.