Europe must enforce punitive tariffs on imports from the United States if President Donald Trump acts to protect U.S. markets from foreign rivals, a senior ally of German Chancellor Angela Merkel stated in a newspaper interview.
Trump has already officially withdrawn the United States from the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal, distancing the country from few other countries, and pledged to renegotiate the free-trade deal with Canada and Mexico.
The president has likewise cautioned German automakers with a border tax of 35 percent on automobiles imported into the U.S. market, stating such a levy would help produce more jobs on American soil.
“If Donald Trump enforces punitive tariffs on German and European items, then Europe needs to likewise impose punitive tariffs on U.S. products,” Volker Kauder, parliamentary floor leader of Merkel’s conservatives, informed the Funke media group in an interview released on Saturday.
“We can decline everything,” Kauder added.
He stated German authorities would need to advise “our friends in Washington” that trade wars in the past had revealed that both sides only lost from such steps.
“We simply have to state calmly and with self-confidence: If Trump carries out exactly what he stated, then Europe must respond,” Kauder said.
The German government has pledged to protect international free trade after Trump cautioned protectionist procedures and his top consultant on trade alleged Germany of making use of a weak euro to increase exports.
German Vice Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel has recommended that the European Union must refocus its economic policy towards Asia, should the US government pursue protectionism.