On Friday the Toyota Group warned about the “negative impact” of the heavy taxes that President Donald Trump is planning to impose on steel and aluminum imports, saying that such fees would lead to a significant increase in car prices in the US market.
“More than 90 percent of the steel and aluminum we buy (for the US market) comes from the United States itself,” Toyota said in a statement.
“But the government’s decision to impose heavy taxes on steel and aluminum will have a negative impact on manufacturers of cars, suppliers and consumers because it will increase the cost and therefore the prices of cars and trucks in the United States.”
In 2017 Toyota sold more than 2.4 million cars in the United States which is the first market for the Japanese group.
Trump would impose heavy duties on US imports of steel and aluminum, threatening a trade war with his main trading partners, including China and the European Union.
Trump said the cartoons “will be approved next week.”
European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker quickly respond to Trump by saying that the EU would “respond strongly and in an equal manner to defend its interests.”
“In the coming days, the Commission will present a proposal for countermeasures against the United States in line with WTO (World Trade Organization) rules to restore the balance” Juncker said in a statement.
The European Commission president said the US move was “a blatant move to protect the national industry” in the United States, but “it is not based on a justification related to national security,” adding: “Instead of a solution, this decision will make the things worse.”
In the same statement, European Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom deplored US actions “which will have a negative impact on the relations between the two Atlantic and global markets.”
“These measures will increase costs and reduce the choice of American consumers for steel and aluminum, which includes industries that import these goods,” she said.
“The European Union will start consultations as soon as possible on resolving differences with the United States in Geneva,” she said adding that “the Commission will monitor the development of markets and will propose, if necessary, protective measures consistent with the WTO to maintain the stability of the EU market.”
Canadian Trade Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne warned that any possible US customs duties on Canada’s steel and aluminum exports would be “unacceptable.”