The European Union (EU) is ready to hit the United States with extra tariffs on goods worth 35 billion euros if Washington slaps duties on its cars, its trade chief said Tuesday.
The warning by EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom came as she said a plan by Europe and the United States to reach a limited trade deal was at a standstill.
Malmstrom's stark statement to newly elected MEPs in Brussels was a reminder that transatlantic tensions remained high despite Washington's trade war with China dominating attention.
"We will not accept any managed trade, quotas or voluntary export restraints and, if there were to be tariffs, we would have a rebalancing list," Malmstrom told a committee meeting in European Parliament.
"It is already basically prepared worth 35 billion euros. I hope we don't have to use that one," she said.
US President Donald Trump is still considering imposing punishing duties on automobile imports on national security grounds -- a justification that Malmstrom said was wildly unfounded.