The European Union followed through Friday with new tariffs on more than $3 billion worth of imports from the United States, a move immediately followed by a threat of more retaliatory taxes by President Donald Trump.
That calculation assumes no countries would be exempted from USA auto tariffs, including our trading partners North American Free Trade Agreement partners Canada and Mexico.
"So, they're basically saying, 'We are going to sell you millions of cars".
"These measures are the logical effect of the U.S. decision", French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire told AFP. He said while tariffs alone would not derail global growth, they could spark market volatility and lead to the postponement of business decisions.
The Trump administration initially exempted Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, the European Union, Mexico and South Korea from the import duties, but drew criticism for imposing the tariffs on Canada, the European Union and Mexico on June 1. Europeans claim that breaks global trade rules.
Together with United States tariffs against Mexico and Canada, the trade battles have raised the spectre of a global trade war, spooking financial markets that fear major consequences to the global economy. Mattes also said that German automakers could not subsist without access to the United States market.
Analysts at the consultancy Oxford Economics said the consequences for the European economy could be contained in the short term, as the affected imports only account for about 1% of all goods coming into the EU from the US.
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The EU has announced a two-phase response to the U.S. steel and aluminium measures.
"We will continue investigating the impact and decide on the best action to take", he said.
European consumers would be able to find "alternatives", the European commission vice-president for trade, Jyrki Katainen, said. Furthermore, there are no alternatives to the products supplied from Japan.
"We don't want to fight (over trade) in public via Twitter".
Many lawmakers have been critical of Mr Trump's use of the trade law, which was rarely applied before he took office.
Trump, who clashed with allies including German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau during this month's G-7 summit, is expected to speak with some of those same leaders next month at a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit in Brussels.
The Japanese yen strengthened to 110.02 against the dollar, up as much as 0.47 percent on the day, after President Trump threatened to impose a 10 percent tariff on $200 billion of Chinese goods, fuelling trade war worries with Beijing.
European and U.S. autos shares fell sharply on Friday after U.S. President Donald Trump threatened a 20 percent tariff on all vehicle imports from the European Union if EU "tariffs and trade barriers" are not removed.
Malmström said the bloc will remove its tariffs if the United States rescinds the duties on metals.