Frankfurt am Main, March 5 (AFP/APP): The German government warned Monday that a transatlantic trade war would harm both Europe and the US, urging Washington not to take a “wrong path” after a weekend of aggressive trade rhetoric.
“I don't want to judge how close to or far from a trade war we are. Such a trade war would not be in German, European or American interests,” Chancellor Angela Merkel's spokesman Steffen Seibert told reporters in Berlin.
However, “closing oneself off and protectionism are the wrong path,” Seibert added, after President Donald Trump at the weekend threatened to impose tariffs on car imports from the European Union. Last week Brussels raised the spectre of a tit-for-tat trade war with the US, saying it would slap a border tax on items like motorcycles, orange juice and jeans if Trump went ahead with a promised tariff on steel and aluminium imports into the US.
If the European Commission implements the plans, “we will simply apply a tax on their cars which freely pour into the US,” Trump tweeted Saturday. The fresh threat followed the president's Friday declaration that “trade wars are good, and easy to win” in response to the initial uproar at his plans for a metals tariff.