U.S. President Donald Trump threatened Tuesday to slap tariffs on countries that don’t negotiate with the United States in good faith and suggested they are a panacea to global trade issues.
“Tariffs are the greatest!,” Trump wrote on Twitter. “Either a country which has treated the United States unfairly on Trade negotiates a fair deal, or it gets hit with Tariffs. It’s as simple as that – and everybody’s talking! Remember, we are the “piggy bank” that’s being robbed. All will be Great!”
Hours earlier, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said Europe won’t cave in to Trump’s threats.
“No one has an interest in having punitive tariffs, because everyone loses in the end,” Maas wrote on Twitter. “Europe will not be threatened by President Trump,” he added. “If we cede once, we will often have to deal with such behavior in the future.”
Trump’s threats of new tariffs were made hours before he departed the White House for speaking engagements at several events in Kansas City, Missouri.
Trump is due to meet in Washington Wednesday with European Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker, who hopes to prevent a full-blown trade war by convincing Trump to hold off on imposing punitive tariffs on European cars.
EU officials say that while EU taxes collected on auto imports are higher than those applied by the U.S., the U.S. rates for other products, including trucks, are higher. The EU maintains that cutting duties for cars can only be part of a broader trade deal.
The potential car tariffs, which would hurt Germany’s thriving automobile industry, come on top of hefty tariffs that Trump has imposed on aluminum and steel imports.
The European Commission has already responded with retaliatory tariffs, but new levies on cars could prompt Europe to take further action.
House Republican leader Paul Ryan told reporters Tuesday he does not think “the tariff route is the smart way to go.” Ryan, who is retiring from Congress when his term ends in January, said he understands Trump is seeking “a better deal for Americans” but added the U.S. should instead “work together to reduce trade barriers and trade restrictions between our countries.”
The Trump administration is set to announce Tuesday billions of dollars in emergency aid to farmers who have been hurt by trade disputes with China, the European Union and other trade partners. The plan comes as Trump addressed the Veterans of Foreign Wars national convention in Kansas City, which is located in the heart of the nation’s farm country.