During a joint press conference between President Donald Trump and the Dutch prime minister, the latter said tariffs imposed on imports were not positive.
The President was enthusiastically praising the virtues of his plan to impose tariffs on steel and aluminum coming into the U.S. from the European Union, saying that he would address complaints with EU officials, when the Dutch PM Mark Rutte interjected, simply saying “No!”
“If we do work it out, that’ll be positive, and if we don’t, it’ll be positive also because…” Trump was saying when Rutte interrupted. “Well, just think about those cars that pour in here, and we’ll do something, right?” Trump then replied.
Rutte didn’t stop there and added, “It’s not positive. We have to work something out.”
The prime minister’s comments clearly demonstrated European leaders’ sentiments regarding President Trump’s trade move. The EU has threatened to retaliate with tariffs worth $294 billion on a number of U.S. exports if Trump applies duties on cars coming from the EU.
In a paper released this week, the European Commission said Trump’s tariffs would be “self-defeating and would weaken the U.S. economy. The European Union would, therefore, caution the United States against pursuing a process which could result in yet another disregard of international law, which would damage further the reputation of the United States and which the international community cannot and will not accept.”
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has likewise expressed concerns with the President’s decision to impose tariffs, stressing they could hurt the American economy.
Chamber of Commerce chairman, Tom Donohue, said in a statement, “The administration is threatening to undermine the economic progress it worked so hard to achieve. We should seek free and fair trade, but this is just not the way to do it.”