(Yicai Global) Aug. 1 -- Major vehicle-exporting regions, including the European Union, Canada, Mexico, South Korea, and Japan, have agreed to respond, yet not in unison, if the US moves on with its threats for increased levies.
Representatives from these regions, whose economies would be severely hit by auto tariff increases, met in Geneva, Switzerland, yesterday to discuss how to proceed if US President Donald Trump's administration pumps car tariffs by 25 percent.
All attendants will first explore how to tackle with such tariffs and share the relevant information, while joint countermeasures were not prepared due to inconsistent stances, Yicai Global learned from sources who were present at the meeting.
The options for responses included an appeal to the World Trade Organization's dispute settlement system, while sector-specific plurilateral deals between like-minded nations were too early to discuss.
Trump ordered the US Department of Commerce to conduct the so-called 'Section 232' investigation on imported automobiles and automotive parts on May 23 to protect its national security through ensuring the competitive advantage of its car manufacturing sector.
The EU is likely to keep away from a damaging trade dispute till the end, a legal veteran who participated in the meeting told Yicai Global. "Yet the inconsistent policies adopted by the Trump Administration and the unpredictable stances of Trump increase uncertainties."
The supposed ceasefire between the EU and the States may turn partial, as the agreement to avert tariff zones signed between the entities last week involved only "non-auto industrial sectors," lawyers familiar with the agreement told Yicai Global.
Editor: Emmi Laine