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Wilbur Ross says U.S. investigation of auto tariffs for Europe will go on despite deal

July 26, 2018

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said Thursday the administration’s preparations for tariffs on European autos will continue despite President Trump’s deal with European Union leaders to suspend any new tariffs.

“We’ve been directed by the president to continue the investigation, get our material together but not actually implement anything pending the outcome of the negotiations,” Mr. Ross told reporters.

He said Commerce will submit its report on auto tariffs sometime in August, and imposing them “may not be necessary.”

In the meantime, he said, “Steel and aluminum tariffs stay in place.”

Mr. Trump announced with European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker Wednesday that both sides would hold off on any new tariffs and negotiate toward a “zero tariff” relationship. Mr. Juncker agreed that the European Union will purchase more U.S. soybeans and liquefied natural gas.

Mr. Ross credited steel and aluminum tariffs for the agreement.

“If we hadn’t had steel and aluminum tariffs, we never would have gotten to the point we are now,” he said. “This is a real vindication of the president’s trade policy.”

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