German automobile executives have proposed ending the European Union’s 10 percent tax on American-made cars, according to a report from The Wall Street Journal.
U.S. Ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell has reportedly met with chief executives from Volkswagen, BMW and Daimler, who pitched him the idea as part of a broader deal on industrial goods, which the German government supports.
“It is important to stay focused on American jobs, and the German auto industry employs tens of thousands of U.S. workers,” Grenell told the Journal.
“Germany has the right approach to resolving this trade disagreement among friends,” U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross told the newspaper. “If the E.U. were to reduce its 10 percent tariff on U.S. cars and trucks, that would be a positive first step toward trade that was more fair and reciprocal.”
However, the U.S. would then be expected to scrap its own 25 percent tax on imported light trucks, including pickups, SUVs, and vans. Ross did not comment on whether the U.S. would end its tax on truck imports.
Another potential problem is the European Commission, the E.U.’s executive body, which issued a statement refusing to discuss trade with the U.S. until the E.U. is “granted a permanent exemption on the tariffs on steel and aluminum products” proposed by President Donald Trump.
An unnamed German official told the Journal that Germany is “absolutely in favor of reducing tariffs in certain areas like car imports, but we have to support a common E.U. position. Paris is still holding a hard line on this.”
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