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EU rejects claim that its car exports threaten US security

Cars for export and import are seen parked in front of containers on May 16, 2019 at the harbor in Bremerhaven, Germany. With 2 million vehicles going through the port per annum, Bremerhaven is one of the largest automobile hubs in the world. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner)

BRUSSELS (AP) -- The European Union is rejecting claims that Europe's car exports pose a threat to the United States after U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross ruled that imported vehicles and parts imperil national security.

European Commission spokesman Margaritis Schinas said Monday that "the EU and the U.S. are security partners (so) neither U.S. nor European products can represent a security threat to the other side."

U.S. President Donald Trump is delaying for six months any decision to slap tariffs on foreign cars, a move that would have hit Japan and Europe especially hard.

Trump still hopes to use the threat of auto tariffs to pressure them into making concessions in ongoing trade talks.

Schinas says that "neither the U.S. nor the EU can have an interest to enter a trade conflict."

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