Having repeatedly stated his discontent about his country’s role in world trade, U.S. President Trump is currently pushing for a more protectionist policy, threatening to impose tariffs on imported goods. Next to China, the largest import partner of the United States, and the country’s neighbors to the North and South, the European Union stands to lose the most if the current tensions should escalate into a full-blown trade war.
Europe’s car industry should be particularly worried, as Trump has threatened to increase tariffs on passenger car imports from the EU more than once in the past. In fact, the European Union is currently imposing higher tariffs on American cars (10%) than the U.S. is on most European cars (2.5%), contributing but not causing the United States’ negative trade balance in the automobile sector.
The following chart shows America’s largest import partners for passenger cars based on the value of total imports in 2017.