Aylesbury MP David Lidington has taken on Donald Trump over his comments about a trade war between the European Union (EU) and the USA.
Earlier this week Donald Trump made a surprise announcement that he intends to impose a 25% tariff on steel and 10% on aluminium in an attempt to protect US industry.
The EU hit back threatening to target US imports such as Harley-Davidson motorbikes, Levi’s jeans and Kentucky bourbon whiskey.
Mr Lidington told BBC One’s Sunday Politics programme: “I just think that the United States is not taking an advisable course in threatening a trade war.
Trade wars don’t do anybody any good.” Mr Lidington suggested the American authorities could overrule any tariffs, as they did in the case of aircraft manufacturer Bombardier when Mr Trump’s administration threatened huge duties on its C-wing planes.
The minister said: “There was a lot of concerns recently about something comparable with regards aviation and the aircraft that were being produced in part by Bombardier in Belfast in Northern Ireland, and the American authorities at the end of the day struck that down; they said no that is not the way that we should be going.”
He warned Mr Trump that Britain’s experience showed his plan would not work.
“We tried in Britain in the 60s and 70s protecting our car industry from competition. It actually didn’t work, it protected inefficiencies, we lost all our export markets because our competitors who were more competitive went out and gobbled those up from us, and the car industry had to go through a very, very painful restructuring to get to the success story it is now.”
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