EU threatens ‘swift and adequate’ action if Trump imposes tariffs on imported cars

The European Union on Monday said it will act in a “swift and adequate” manner if President TrumpDonald John TrumpBusiness school deans call for lifting country-specific visa caps Bolton told ex-Trump aide to call White House lawyers about Ukraine pressure campaign: report Federal prosecutors in New York examining Giuliani business dealings with Ukraine: report MORE decides to slap tariffs on imported vehicles to the U.S.

EU spokesman Margaritis Schinas warned that if the U.S. government went ahead with “actions detrimental to European exports, the European Commission would react in a swift and adequate manner,” The Associated Press reports.

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The warning comes amid reports over the weekend that Trump received the findings of a government probe into whether imported vehicles pose any national security threat.

Commerce Secretary Wilbur RossWilbur Louis RossOvernight Energy: Dems subpoena Perry in impeachment inquiry | EPA to overhaul rules on lead contamination tests | Commerce staff wrote statement rebuking weather service for contradicting Trump Commerce staff drafted statement rebuking weather service for contradicting Trump's hurricane predictions US, in reversal, does not support Brazil's entry to OECD MORE submitted the department's findings to Trump, the Commerce Department announced in a statement Sunday.

Trump now has 90 days to decide whether to act on the report.

The Commerce Department did not announce what the findings were or the nature of any recommendations. The agency first began the probe last May under a section of trade law that the administration previously used to slap tariffs on steel and aluminum.

The latest car investigation looked into the importation of SUVs, vans and light trucks.

Most auto manufacturers, foreign and domestic, are against the idea of a tariff and have been lobbying against the move.

In the past, Trump has threatened a tariff as high as 25 percent on foreign-made vehicles. Such steep tariffs could cause German car exports to the U.S. to fall by nearly 50 percent, according to the Ifo Institute.

The move could also mean a big impact on U.S. automaker sales in foreign markets. The EU said it’s prepared tariffs on nearly $23 billion in U.S. goods if Trump follows through with the levies.

Speaking to senior security officials over the weekend, German Chancellor Angela Merkel called Trump’s suggestion that Germany automakers could be a security threat a “shock.”