EU trade chief sees possible extension to 18 May deadline for US car tariffs

European Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom expects President Donald Trump to delay a 18 May deadline for U.S. tariffs on cars imported from the European union, according to an interview published in the Sueddeutsche newspaper on 13 May.

Trump, who raised tariffs on $200bn of Chinese imports earlier this month, is due to make a decision about European cars which could affect some €47bn ($53bn) worth of vehicle and component exports.

Malmstrom said it was possible the deadline could be extended as Washington focuses on its ongoing negotiations with Beijing.

"There are signals that it could be extended - because of the negotiations between the U.S. and China," Malmstrom was cited as saying.

Should Trump go ahead with tariffs on 18 May, the EU had a list of U.S. products worth €20bn on which retaliatory tariffs could be levied, she said.

European leaders and officials had long said they would not discuss trade arrangements under threat of action from Trump, which some likened to negotiating with a gun to the head.