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Juncker says Trump won’t impose tariffs on European cars: Sueddeutsche

FILE PHOTO: EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker attends a meeting of the College of EU Commissioners in Brussels, Belgium November 6, 2019. REUTERS/Yves HermanBERLIN (Reuters) – Outgoing European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker does not believe U.S. President Donald Trump will impose tariffs on imported European cars next week, he told Germany’s Sueddeutsche Zeitung. “Trump is going to make some criticism, but there won’t be any auto tariffs,” Juncker told the Sueddeutsche in pre-released extracts of an interview to run in its Friday edition. “He won’t do it … You are speaking to a fully informed man.” The United States must decide by Nov. 14 whether to impose threatened U.S. national security tariffs of as much as 25% on vehicles and parts. The tariffs have already been delayed once by six months, and trade experts say that could happen again. The United States has already signed trade deals with Japan and South Korea that appeared likely to stave off auto tariffs, but its talks with the EU have been moving forward more slowly. Trump last month said Washington continued to talk with the EU about trade, but aimed to avoid imposing broader tariffs for now. U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin also lauded increased investment by European carmakers in the United States. Those remarks have given EU diplomats hope for another reprieve. Germany’s BMW (BMWG.DE), the biggest U.S. automotive exporter by value for the past five years, last month said it had warned U.S. officials that intensifying a global trade war could threaten jobs at its plant in Spartanburg, South Carolina, which exports about 70% of its production. Both BMW and Daimler (DAIGn.DE) have invested to expand the production capacity of plants in the United States where they build mainly larger sports utility vehicles (SUVs) to keep up with rising demand and because it makes good economic sense. Volkswagen AG (VOWG_p.DE) in January pledged to invest $800 million and add 1,000 jobs to build electric vehicles in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Writing by Paul Carrel; Editing by Chizu NomiyamaOur Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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