European Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker said Monday he believes U.S. President Donald Trump would keep “his word” not to impose any tariffs on European cars and car parts for the time being.
“Donald Trump gave me his word that there won’t be any car tariffs for the time being. I believe him,” Juncker told Stuttgarter Zeitung, according to his spokesperson.
Juncker added: “Should he renege on that commitment, we will no longer feel bound by our commitments to buy more U.S.. soya and liquid gas. I would very much regret that.”
Trump and Juncker agreed in July to launch trade talks and to not impose further tariffs on each other, “unless either party terminates the negotiations.”
The U.S. Commerce Department late Sunday said it has given the White House the results of its investigation into whether imports of autos and auto parts pose a threat to national security, but did not say what the results of the investigation are. Trump now has 90 days to decide whether to impose tariffs.
Juncker’s threat not to buy more soybeans is hollow, however, because traders and not the European Commission decide on importing the American crops. The Commission last month also approved U.S. soybeans for the production of subsidized biofuels in the EU until 2021.