May 31, 2018 / 6:33 AM / in 23 days

Trump wants to bar German luxury cars in U.S. - German magazine

BERLIN, May 31 (Reuters) - German magazine Wirtschaftswoche reported on Thursday that U.S. President Trump told French President Emmanuel Macron last month he would block German luxury carmakers from the U.S. market.

Citing several unnamed European and U.S. diplomats, the magazine reported that Trump told Macron in April he would stick to his trade policy so with the aim of preventing Mercedes-Benz models from rolling down Fifth Avenue in New York.

Earlier this month, the Trump administration opened a trade investigation into whether vehicle imports had damaged the U.S. auto industry. That could lead to tariffs of up to 25 percent on the same “national security” grounds used to impose U.S. steel and aluminum duties in March.

Imposing such a tariff would destroy the business case for German carmakers to import into the United States, and cause a burden of 4.5 billion euros for German premium manufacturers, analysts at Evercore ISI said in a note last week. (Reporting by Madeline Chambers Editing by Edward Taylor)

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