US President Donald Trump is reportedly planning to impose a total ban on the imports of German luxury cars.
Several American and European diplomats told German magazine WirtschaftsWoche that Trump told French President Emmanuel Macron about his plans last month during a state visit.
Trump said he would maintain his trade policy with the aim of stopping Mercedes-Benz models from driving down Fifth Avenue in New York, the weekly business magazine reported on Thursday citing several unnamed diplomats.
The exclusive report didn’t provide more details on what policies the Trump administration will use to effectively ban the premium carmakers.
After the report was published, shares of Daimler, Porsche and Volkswagen dropped.
The report comes less than two weeks after Trump ordered Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross to launch an investigation into automobile imports to determine whether they “threaten to impair the national security” of America.
A similar national security argument was presented when the president imposed steep tariffs on aluminum and steel imports from China, Russia, Germany and some other countries in March.
Trump and Republicans in Congress are preparing to clash over the proposed tariffs, which could be up to 25 percent.
The German government has called on the United States not to take a “wrong path” by putting tariffs on steel and aluminum imports, warning that a transatlantic trade war could harm both Europe and the US.
Several German automakers have plants in the United States, including Mercedes-Benz in Alabama and BMW in South Carolina.