European Union warns Trump's vehicle tariffs threaten $300 billion of United States exports

The European Union has claimed that Donald Trump's plans to impose higher import taxes on cars to the U.S. would harm his own country's economy.

Trump's threat was the latest salvo in an escalating trade war that saw the EU slap duties on US-made jeans and Harley Davidson motorcycles in a tit-for-tat response to U.S. tariffs on European steel and aluminium exports.

The Chamber, the nation's largest business lobbying group and a traditional ally of Trump's Republican Party, said the White House is risking a global trade war with its push to protect USA industry and workers with tariffs.

Europe is "possibly as bad as China" on trade, U.S. President Donald Trump said in an interview broadcast Sunday, with trade wars emerging against both the Asian giant as well as longtime allies in Europe and Canada.

But mounting trade tensions have opened a rift with the President.

Pushing back against Mr Trump, the chamber based a state-by-state analysis on data from the US Department of Commerce and government agencies in China, the EU, Mexico, and Canada. That same state, which flipped for Trump in 2016, is also expected to lose $624 million in soybean sales after China issued sweeping tariffs in response to Trump. It said that vehicle imports from Europe to the United States had grown at the same pace as demand from the U.S. market, showing that they were filling a gap that domestic output could not, rather than eating into domestic sales as Trump has suggested.

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EU officials also said around 60-percent of USA -made cars of European brands are exported into third countries, which benefits the US economy.

Stocks on Wall Street were volatile as investors anxious about the mounting trade war between the U.S. and its trading partners.

Retaliation for his tariffs came swiftly. If EU countermeasures on automotive tariffs take the same approach as those on steel, they will amount to around €10 billion.

Previous year the European Union exported $43.6 billion worth of cars to the United States.

Harley-Davidson, which dominates the heavyweight United States motorcycle market, subsequently announced it would shift some USA production overseas to avoid higher costs for European Union customers.

"We'll spare no effort, be it at the technical or political level, to prevent this from happening", a spokesman for the Commission told reporters, adding that Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker's trip to Washington later this month would seek to stop any new United States tariffs. Trump slammed the company's move, saying it was tantamount to surrender, and threatened punitive taxes. Ottawa targeted American steel and aluminum as well as goods from politically sensitive regions like Florida orange juice and Kentucky bourbon.

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