WASHINGTON DC - U.S. President Donald Trump has hinted he may be about to open a new front in his trade war.
While negotiations with China on trade resumed in Washington on Wednesday, the president on the same day said negotiations with the European Union on trade in automobiles are proving difficult, and if a deal is not done he will impose tariffs.
Asked directly at a press conference, where he was welcoming Federal Chancellor Sebastian Kurz of the Republic of Austria to the White House on Wednesday, whether he was going to impose auto tariffs on the Europeans, the president replied:
"Well, its something we certainly think about. Were trying to make a deal. Theyre very tough to make a deal with, the EU."
"Theyve been very difficult over a period of time, over many, many years. And so its something we think about, and were negotiating with them. If we dont make the deal, well do the tariffs," he said.
Asked if the new report from the Commerce Department had changed his mind, the president replied:
"The new report is not that kind of a report. Its just really a study thats underway. Weve studied it very carefully. Weve seen the results. But the bottom-line result is whether or not we can make a deal with the EU thats fair."
"We lose about $151 billion trading with the EU. Thats a lot of money. And this has been going on for many years," Mr Trump said.
"They wouldnt meet with the Obama administration, and theyre meeting with us. So well see what happens. Well see what happens."