| 1:02 PM EST

Trump Revives Threat of Tariffs on European Cars

Lobster tiff prompts U.S. to revive tax threats

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Cars made in Europe are in the White House’s trade sanction crosshairs again.

President Donald Trump made a threat on June 5 that he will impose an unspecified tariff on imported cars from the European Union “equivalent” in value to the bloc’s existing duties on American lobsters.

Trump added that the White House is looking into similar sanctions for unspecified Chinese goods unless the country removes its tariffs on U.S.-sourced lobsters.

Peter Navarro, the White House trade advisor, will head the negotiations as America’s “lobster king,” according to Trump.

Simmering Issues

The lobster tiff with the EU came up last year, when U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer proposed a side deal with the bloc to ease its taxes on American lobsters, Reuters reports. That idea went nowhere.

U.S. trade talks with the EU have been mired for months. Negotiations with China haven’t budged since January, when the two countries announced a mini-trade deal focused on American farm goods.

Trump has been threatening for more than a year to boost U.S. duties on all foreign-sourced cars to 25% from the current 2.5%. He delayed that step again in November. The White House has claimed that imported vehicles pose a national security threat by lowering America’s manufacturing base.

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