U.S. President Donald Trump has warned EU countries that he will further increase tariffs unless they lower theirs.
Trump last week confirmed he would slap additional duties of 25 percent on steel and 10 percent on aluminum imports.
In a new tweet from Saturday, he now offered Europe a way out of the tariffs, combined with a threat to tax even more goods.
“The European Union, wonderful countries who treat the U.S. very badly on trade, are complaining about the tariffs on Steel & Aluminum. If they drop their horrific barriers and tariffs on U.S. products going in, we will likewise drop ours. Big Deficit. If not, we Tax Cars etc. FAIR!,” the president tweeted.
World Trade Organization rules ban countries from increasing their tariffs, but Washington has argued the hikes were justified under an exception for national security.
European leaders have warned that Trump’s trade strategy could trigger a global trade war and would hurt the U.S. economy.
In another tweet earlier this month, Trump said that “trade wars are good, and easy to win” and offered a radical idea to cut America’s trade deficit: “When we are down $100 billion with a certain country and they get cute, don’t trade anymore — we win big. It’s easy!”
The EU’s trade chief Cecilia Malmström said Saturday that she received “no immediate clarity” about whether the EU would be exempted from the steel and aluminum tariffs during talks with her opposite number U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer in Brussels.