The German Chambers of Commerce and Industry (DIHK) has warned that should the Trump administration go ahead and impose higher tariffs on steel imports this would could trigger a global trade war.
DIHK managing director Martin Wansleben said Wednesday the introduction of tariffs would eventually burden US consumers through higher prices and could trigger a worldwide trade war.
Wansleben made the statement a day after US President Donald Trump said he was considering a range of options to curb overseas steel and aluminum imports, which he described as unfairly hurting US producers.
Trump suggested his administration may impose tariffs and quotas on such imports — the strongest signal in months that he's willing to deliver on his election pledge to protect US workers from foreign competition.
Wansleben said the new import tariffs would undermine the "positive investment incentives" introduced by the Trump administration's recent corporate tax reform. "As appealing as the tax relief from the recent US tax reform may be, new import barriers raise prices and disrupt international production chains," Wansleben warned, adding that the move could trigger a US trade war with the majority of its trading partners.
Moreover, the DIHK managing directors said new barriers to trade could backfire because US companies relied on intermediaries or capital goods from abroad.
America is Germany's second largest export destination after the European Union. Experts estimate a full-blown trade war with the US could cut in Europe's largest economy by up to one percent.
uhe/aos (Reuters, dpa)