Trump may ban German luxury carmakers next

GETTYUS trade war This wouldn't be Mr Trump's first attack to German car makers

The Trump administration has opened a trade investigation into whether vehicle imports have damaged the USA auto industry.

Within the EU, Germany is the biggest exporter of cars to the United States.

Trump has railed against German carmakers before and in early 2017, in an interview with German newspaper Bild, had said he would impose 35 percent tariffs on imported cars.

German business magazine Wirtschaftswoche reports that during French President Emmanuel Macron visit to Washington D.C.in April, Trump said he wanted to exclude German models from America. No U.S. news agency has confirmed Trump's reported remarks to Macron.

The magazine reports that the latter comment was made off the record - but confirmed by unnamed US and European diplomats - to French President Emmanuel Macron as an example of Trump's commitment to proposed trade policies.

Donald Trump, who is said to have owned several Mercedes-Benz vehicles, allegedly wants to ban German cars from U.S. roads.

It's unclear what policy Trump could wield to make this happen, and also whether it would go beyond automobiles produced outside the United States.

At the time, the president called Germany a great auto producer but said that the business relationship with the United States was an unfair one-way street.

German automakers assembled 804,000 cars in USA plants a year ago but exported another 657,000 to North America from Germany, according to the VDA industry association.

Germany's auto industry association VDA says its members exported 657,000 vehicles to North America previous year, with total exports of vehicle components, cars, engines, as well as second-hand vehicles totaling 31.2 billion euros in 2016. The U.S. market for luxury cars is dominated by German automakers, which account for around 90 percent of luxury vehicle sales.

Trump said on Thursday that he would end tariff exemptions on steel and aluminum imported to the US from the European Union and Canada.

Late on Wednesday, talks to avoid a transatlantic trade war showed no sign of a breakthrough.

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