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Trump Says Tariff Threats Will Lead to Trade Deal With Europe

President Trump expressed confidence that the U.S. will reach a new trade agreement with Europe, arguing that leaders in the region have “no choice” but to make a deal amid the threat of auto tariffs.

Mr. Trump said he had a “great talk” with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum here on Tuesday.

“I said, look, if we don’t get something, I’m going to have to take action, and the action will be a very high tariffs on their cars and other things that come into our country,” he recalled telling Ms. von der Leyen during an interview with CNBC that aired Wednesday morning.

But he added that investors shouldn’t panic at the prospect of tariffs on European cars. “They’re going to make a deal, because they have to. They have to. They have no choice,” he said.

Mr. Trump renewed his threat to hit Europe with auto tariffs in an interview on Tuesday with The Wall Street Journal.

The president projected optimism about the trade talks with Europe, praising Ms. von der Leyen and calling the former head of the commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, “impossible to deal with.”

The president touched on several other issues during the interview. He said he had been briefed on the outbreak of a deadly strain of coronavirus amid reports that the first case of the virus had been documented in the U.S.

“We have it totally under control,” Mr. Trump said.

The president also said he watched some of the Senate’s impeachment trial remotely from Davos, and he praised his legal team. “I think the team was really good and the facts are all on our side,” he said.

The president met with several dozen business executives on Wednesday morning for a closed-door breakfast. The president arrived late to the event. During his remarks to the executives, he touted the economy, trumpeting low unemployment and wage gains. He pointed to tax cuts, deregulation and the trade deal as things he had delivered to the corporate sector, according to a person familiar with the meeting. The president also turned to politics, telling the executives that his polling numbers looked better than ever.

Mr. Trump is planning to hold a news conference before he leaves Davos for Washington.
Source: Dow Jones

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