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Trump readying ultimatum to EU, Japan on auto tariffs: Report

The White House has drafted an ultimatum for Japan and the European Union regarding the trade in automobiles and auto parts: it agrees to set limits on exports to the United States within 180 days or face tariffs. The ultimatum was reported by Bloomberg, citing a preliminary version of the executive order he had seen.

A representative of the Trump administration could not be reached for comment.

President Trump has long threatened to impose 25% tariffs on cars and auto parts. It was widely assumed that a Department of Commerce report delivered to the White House in February, but that was not made public, gave the administration a justification to impose tariffs under Section 232 of the Commercial Expansion Act, which allows tariffs protect national security.

A decision on the department's report was expected for Saturday, 90 days after it was sent to the White House. Early on Wednesday, it became known that the White House would invoke a section of the act that would allow it to delay the decision for up to six months.

Trump has said that the decision on whether to initiate tariffs would depend on the outcome of trade negotiations with the European Union, a major exporter of automobiles. "We are negotiating with them, if we do not make a deal, we will do the rates," Trump told reporters in February.

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