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German carmakers to Trump: Bring on the import duties

BMW, German, Trump, import
German engineering, made in the US. BMW / DPA

Depending on whom you ask, Donald Trump sounds like a broken record or he is sticking to his promises.

When the US president threatened to slap a tax on European cars imported to the US on Saturday, he echoed a comment from January last year. At the time, he warned that BMW and other carmakers could face a 35 percent import duty for cars not built in the United States. He targeted BMW because it is building a new plant in Mexico.

His remarks last year caused the stocks of BMW, VW and Mercedes-maker Daimler to fall. The same happened on Monday, with shares losing as much as 2.4 percent, although almost all blue-chip shares fell in Europe amid fears of a trade war between the US and the rest of the world.

Mr. Trump repeated his threat on Saturday after European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said the European Union could impose tariffs on US imports, including Harley-Davidson motorcycles, American whiskey and Levi’s jeans.

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