ANGELA MERKEL JUST THREATENED THE U.S..Germany threatens retaliation if U.S. sanctions harm its firms
German Economy Minister Brigitte Zypries has said Berlin would take Washington to court if it were to impose a border tax on imports from Germany under Donald Trump’s “America First” policy favoring US exports.
The German Economy Minister warned Washington against unleashing a trade war, saying Berlin would take legal action before the World Trade Organization (WTO) if it were to follow through on its import tax plans.
“I’m betting partly on reason and partly on the courts” to prevent a damaging trade war, Zypries told Deutschlandfunk public radio on Friday.
The warning came as Republicans in Congress are pushing for a major shake-up of the US corporate tax system that would include a new “border adjustment” system. It would see US imports subject to a tax of reportedly 20 percent and export revenues exempted.
If the US border tax was found to breach WTO rules, “it wouldn’t be the first time that Mr Trump has failed before the courts,” Zypries said, in a jab at repeated rejections by US judges of executive orders banning immigration from majority-Muslim countries.
Germany hard hit
In 2016, the United States was Germany’s biggest export customer, importing 107 billion euros ($115 billion) of goods while selling back just 58 billion euros’ worth. During the US election campaign Trump targeted the German luxury carmaker BMW by name with threats of a border levy if it goes ahead with construction of a plant in Mexico.
Germany threatened on Friday to retaliate against the United States if new sanctions on Russia being proposed by the U.S. Senate end up penalizing German firms.