The United States Ambassador met with the bosses of Daimler, VW and BMW and told them about a new solution in the trade dispute.
After the introduction of duties on steel and aluminum from the countries of the European Union, US President Donald Trump threatened to further tighten economic policy if Europe did not remove trade barriers hindering American companies. It will be directed already at the import of cars and auto parts, and the German manufacturers will suffer mainly. In June, Trump wrote in his Twitter that customs duties on cars from the European Union would amount to 20% of the car’s value. Now, customs duties in the US on cars from the EU are 2.5%, and import duty on cars from the US in Europe is 10%.
But it was not long before US ambassador Richard Grenell invited Dieter Zetsche, Daimler executive director Harald Kruger and Volkswagen head Herbert Diss, to the meeting. As it became known to the German edition Handelsblatt, a secret meeting took place at the American Embassy in Berlin on Wednesday. The ambassador informed them that he was authorized to find a solution in the dispute between Washington and Berlin.
Washington is ready for a zero decision if Europe, in turn, also completely refuses import duties. The agreement on this issue, according to WTO rules, can be achieved only within the framework of a common customs agreement between the European Union and the US, since it concerns not only Germany but also France. During the conversation, Grenelle noted that this is a very good proposal and it would be strange to give it up.
In Germany, they did not react to this proposal, apparently, taking a pause to think over.