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German Car Makers Call on EU to Scrap Auto Tariffs to Preserve Access to U.S. Market

WOLFSBURG, GERMANY - MARCH 08: The front of a Volkswagen Golf car is displayed at an assembly line at the Volkswagen factory on March 8, 2018 in Wolfsburg, Germany. U.S. President Donald Trump has threatened to impose tariffs on imports of cars made in Europe in an ongoing and escalating …
Alexander Koerner/Getty Images

Germany’s leading car manufacturers have called on the European Union (EU) to scrap its import tariffs on U.S. cars, which are far higher than those imposed on European cars entering America.

The firms called for all tariffs to end, on both the EU and U.S. side, to boost free but also fair trade across the Atlantic, passing the message to the U.S. Ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell.

Mr. Grenell is to present the plan to leaders, according to the Wall Street Journal, after he held meetings with the CEOs of Daimler, BMW, and Volkswagen – all of which operate plants in the U.S.

Earlier this month, Mr. Grenell told Breitbart London he was “working with the different German industry associations to identify the small and medium-size companies that want to open up a new market in the United States” in the context of cutting reliance on trade with Iran.

If the plan were accepted, it would mean scrapping the EU’s 10 percent tax on car and auto imports from the U.S. and other nations and the U.S. dropping the 2.5 percent duty it puts on similar imports from the EU.

In return, the European industry leaders want U.S. President Donald J. Trump to withdraw the threat of imposing a 25 percent tax on European auto imports, made after the EU threatened retaliation to metal tariffs.

President Trump reportedly argued the EU is “worse than China” in a meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron back in April, before complaining about German car imports.

At the end of May, President Trump introduced levies on foreign steel and aluminium products, designed to save America’s rapidly declining smelting capability.

He pointed out how the industry has been hit by artificially cheap Chinese products and argued that retaining it is critical for national security reasons.

EU leaders retaliated by introducing €2.8 billion (£2.5bn/$3.24bn) of levies on key U.S. key exports, designed to do maximum damage to iconic American brands and products, including motorcycles, drinks, and blue jeans.

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