US President Donald Trump threatened on Wednesday February 20th to impose tariffs on European car imports if he failed to strike a trade deal with the EU, AFP has reported.
"We're negotiating. If we don't make the deal, we'll do that," Trump told reporters in response to a question on new tariffs with EU.
Trump's remarks came two days after the Commerce Department delivered a report that sources said found European car imports constitute a national security threat to the United States.
According to the report, the stage could be set for the White House to impose tariffs within 90 days, a move Brussels has vowed to parry with its own set of tariffs. The US already has used the national security argument to slap duties on steel and aluminium imports.
Trump, who said he favours tariffs, has threatened 25% duties on European cars, especially targeting Germany, which he says has harmed the American car industry, in one of many aggressive trade moves.
The US president reached a truce with the EU following a meeting last July with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, a meeting he expressed frustration over on Wednesday.
"We're trying to make a deal," Trump said. "They're very tough to make a deal with, the EU. They've been very difficult over a period of time, over many, many years."
The White House is also locked in tough high-stakes negotiations with China to find a way to resolve the conflict that saw steep tariffs exchanged between Beijing and Washington.