Talks with EU could be alternative to auto import tariffs, US's Ross tells FT

US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross during a meeting at the Maximos Mansion in Athens, Greece September 5, 2019. — Reuters pic
US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross during a meeting at the Maximos Mansion in Athens, Greece September 5, 2019. — Reuters pic

WASHINGTON, Oct 23 — New negotiations with the European Union could be an alternative to imposing tariffs on automotive imports next month, US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross has suggested in an interview with the Financial Times published today.

President Donald Trump declared this year that some imported vehicles and parts posed a national security threat, but delayed a decision until November on whether to impose tariffs, so as to allow for more time for trade talks with the European Union.

“One (option) would be to say, ‘I’m just not going to do anything,’ the second would be to impose tariffs on some or all (countries) … the third might be some other form of negotiation,” Ross said, describing options being considered by Trump.

On Friday, the United States began slapping tariffs on EU imports worth an annual US$7.5 billion (RM31.35 billion), ranging from British whisky and French wine to Spanish olives and cheese from across the bloc, including Italy’s Parmigiano-Reggiano.



Ross dismissed criticism of the step, saying the tariffs were not imposed unilaterally and that the measure was taken with the “full support” of the World Trade Organisation.

Commenting separately on trade talks with , Ross said was following through “in good faith” on assurances given in October to press ahead with large purchases of US farm products.

As the Trump administration’s general licence for US companies to sell to telecoms equipment maker Huawei Technologies expires in November, Ross told the newspaper this was not a hard deadline and could be altered.

“The deadlines are within our control, we can shorten them, we can lengthen them, we can do whatever — at this point they are being treated separately and independently from the trade talks,” Ross said. — Reuters

Source: The Malay Mail Online





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