Brussels - The EU made its comments in documents submitted to the US Department of Commerce as part of that country’s continuing Section 232 national security investigation into imports of cars, SUVs, vans, light trucks and automotive parts. EU-operated companies produced almost 2.9 million vehicles in the US in 2017, representing 26% of that country’s domestic production for the year. And 60% of cars made in the US by such EU-owned companies were exported to nations including some in Europe. The EU said that this contributes to improving the US balance of trade. The new tariffs, if they were imposed, would mean that “US costs would rise, US automobile exports would suffer, US consumers would pay higher prices, and jobs would be lost,” the EU said. “Measures would, in effect, constitute a tax on the American people without resulting in a more competitive or innovative sector in the US.”
The EU’s internal analysis showed that an additional import tariff of 25% applied to cars and automotive parts would have a negative effect on US gross domestic product (GDP) of $13-14 billion per year.
Early studies by the EU, based on experience gained during the US’ Section 232 investigations into steel and aluminium imports, indicate that as much as $294 billion-worth of US exports - the scope of products under the current investigation, and a sum equal to 19% of total US exports in 2017 - could be subject to countermeasures across sectors of the US economy.