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US business cautions against new tariffs, urges transatlantic cooperation to address shared challenges

5 Mar 2019
All Committees
Trade & External Affairs
Transatlantic Task Force

In the wake of the recent US Department of Commerce Section 232 report submitted to President Trump on the impact on US national security of the import of EU cars and car parts into the US – the findings of which are not yet known – US business strongly counsels against the imposition of any new tariffs on the EU.

Such measures would be hugely destabilising for the transatlantic economy, would inevitably invite damaging countermeasures from the EU and would also mean the immediate suspension of the current EU-US trade talks.

The EU is not a national security threat to the US, nor would imports of EU cars and car parts constitute a national security threat to either party. EU-US trade in autos forms part of a wider transatlantic economy that is responsible for almost one-third of global GDP and is a cornerstone of our shared prosperity and security. Moreover, a recent study estimated that the impact of car tariffs could result in a net loss of over 150,000 US jobs1, as well as many more in the broader transatlantic economy. Such trade restrictive measures would further have a negative impact on US companies’ complex global supply chains.

Rather than engaging in unnecessary tit-for-tat trade disputes, the two sides should look to continue their recent positive agenda – starting with the current EU-US trade talks – and look to work together with like-minded partners to address common issues including Chinese unfair trading practices and reforming the WTO. As a confidence-building measure, the two sides should eliminate the existing US steel and aluminium tariffs and EU countermeasures, which are already causing harm to workers and consumers on both sides.

Source:Trade Partnership Worldwide, 2018