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>> These are about to get a whole lot more expensive in Europe. Harley Davidson motorbikes among the products hit with 25% tariffs from Friday, Bourbon whiskey on the list too. It's all in retaliation for US tariffs on European products. But if the trade war now escalates, it is Europe's car makers who look to be in biggest trouble.
Donald Trump already threatening to impose tariffs on European auto imports on National Security grounds. Meanwhile China could put its own new tariffs on US made cars, just one catch, many of those vehicles have a European brand on the hood. Beijing's proposed 25% tax would hit 270,000 US made autos, worth about $11 billion.
$7 billion worth of those vehicles are made by German firms. Mercedes and BMW both make SUVs in the US for sale to China. On Thursday, Mercedes' parent company, Daimler, said that could take a big toll on it's earnings. It's one factor prompted the firm to cut it's 2018 profit forecast and lists estimate the new Chinese tariffs could cost it about $290 million.
Now Brussels say it's open to talks to overt an escalating trade war, but there is little sign that Washington is about to back down. That leaves firms like Mercedes facing a lose lose scenario. Taxed on cars they ship to the US and taxed on the ones they ship from the US too.