In the event of negotiations going south, the EU has a backup plan.
On Wednesday, EU trade commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom, told Swedish newspaper Dagens Nyheter that in the event the United States imposes trade tariffs on cars imported from the EU, it would counter with tariffs on U.S. goods worth $20 billion.
“We hope that it doesn’t come to that and that we can a solution. If not, the EU Commission is preparing a rather long list of many American goods. It would be around $20 billion,” said Malmstrom.
She went on to add, the tariffs will not be directed at particular American state.
“No, now it’s more general goods such as agricultural products, machinery, high-tech products and other things,” clarified Malmstrom.
Pointing out that U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin’s proposal to remove was not serious, she pointed out that the U.S. has laws and subsidies protecting American industries.
“We tried earlier in TTIP negotiations to make the United States loosen those laws. It was completely impossible. They did not move a millimeter,” said Malmstrom.
She went on to add, “Basically, I’m an optimistic person, but heading in to this I’m moderately optimistic. But one must always try.”