EU warns Trump: auto tariffs could lead to $300B retaliation

In this January 2017 photo, cars are parked waiting to be exported at Yokohama port near Tokyo. Japan’s government has warned in a report that a higher U.S. tariff on auto imports could backfire, jeopardizing hundreds of thousands of American jobs created by Japanese auto-related companies, raising prices for U.S. consumers and devastating the U.S. and global economy. (Kyodo News via AP)

BRUSSELS — The European Union is slamming the Trump administration for considering tariffs on auto imports, saying they could lead to global retaliation against some $300 billion in U.S. goods.

European Commission spokesman Margaritis Schinas said Monday the U.S. investigation into the possibility of auto tariffs "lacks legitimacy, factual basis and violates international trade rules," just like last month's U.S. tariffs on steel and aluminum imports.

The EU sent comments to the U.S. on whether auto imports pose enough of a threat to U.S. national security to justify tariffs and estimating the economic impact.

President Donald Trump cited national security concerns for the previous tariffs. The EU, Mexico, Canada, Turkey and India introduced duties on U.S. products in return.

Schinas said European carmakers create over half a million jobs in the U.S.

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