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November 8, 2019 9:45 AM, EST

European Commission President: US Auto Tariffs Not Expected

Steel Factory A worker moves steel coils at the Thyssenkrupp steel factory in Duisburg, Germany. (Martin Meissner/Associated Press)

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BERLIN — Outgoing European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker says he does not think U.S. President Donald Trump will impose new tariffs targeting European automobiles.

The Trump administration has already imposed tariffs that have hit European Union steel, aluminum and agricultural products, and is due to decide next week whether to impose tariffs on Europe’s massive automobile exports.

The previous tariffs have already provoked retaliation from the 28-country trade bloc, and auto tariffs could significantly escalate tensions.

The EU and Washington are seeking to conclude a trade agreement by mid-November to defuse the situation.

Juncker told Germany’s Sueddeutsche Zeitung newspaper Nov. 8: “Trump will complain a bit, but he will not impose any automobile tariffs.”

Without giving specifics, he added: “He will not do it,” and told the paper, “You’re talking with a fully informed person.”

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