Merkel says she's open to reducing EU tariffs on US car imports

Merkel says she's open to reducing EU tariffs on US car imports
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German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Thursday she would support lowering tariffs on U.S. car imports amid an escalating trade dispute between President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump rallies in Nevada amid Supreme Court flurry: 'We're gonna get Brett' Trump: 'Good news' that Obama is campaigning again Trump boosts Heller, hammers 'Wacky Jacky' opponent in Nevada MORE and the European Union. 

Reuters reported that Merkel said tariff negotiations are ongoing, and that any changes would require full European support. 

“I would be ready to support negotiations on reducing tariffs, but we would not be able to do this only with the U.S.,” Merkel said.

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The German chancellor noted that World Trade Organization rules require that if the EU reduced tariffs on U.S. car imports, it would need to implement similar reductions for other countries.

Merkel’s openness to renegotiated tariffs come as Trump has implemented steep levies on imports from China, Canada, Mexico and the EU, sparking concerns of a looming global trade war.

After laying out an initial round of steel and aluminum tariffs, Trump threatened to place a 20 percent tax on all European cars entering the United States.

Trump said in a Fox News interview that aired Sunday that he views car tariffs as potentially his biggest source of leverage in trade negotiations.

“You know, the cars are the big one. We can talk steel, we talk everything. The big thing is the cars,” Trump told Maria Bartiromo.

A number of industry analysts and executives have warned that if Trump were to follow through on his threat of auto tariffs, it could cost thousands of U.S. autoworkers their jobs and sharply raise car prices.

Many bipartisan U.S. lawmakers and international leaders have voiced concerns with Trump's trade policies, saying tariffs on foreign goods will ultimately hurt U.S. workers. Canada, the European Union and other allies have vowed to implement retaliatory tariffs.

Trump has remained defiant, declaring that trade wars are "good and easy to win." He has argued that the tariffs are necessary to balance trade deficits, while the White House has maintained they are for national security purposes.

Trump is scheduled to travel to Brussels next week for the annual NATO summit. Trump has called out Merkel and other U.S. allies for providing what he believes is an inadequate amount of financial support for the defense alliance.