United States President Donald Trump on Saturday threatened to impose a 20% tariff on the import of cars assembled in the European Union if the bloc failed to withdraw its curbs on Washington. In May, his administration had initiated an inquiry to ascertain if the automobile imports were a national security threat, Reuters reported.

The European Union had increased trade barriers on goods worth $3.2 billion imported to the 28-member bloc. The United States currently imposes a 2.5% tariff on imported cars from the European Union and a 25% tariff on imported pickup trucks. The European Union imposes a 10% tariff on imported US cars, the news agency reported.

“Based on the tariffs and trade barriers long placed on the United States and its great companies and workers by the European Union, if these tariffs and barriers are not soon broken down and removed, we will be placing a 20% tariff on all of their cars coming into the United States and build them here,” Trump tweeted.

On June 1, Trump had announced a 25% tax on steel and aluminium imports from key allies the Europe Union, Canada and Mexico. The US cited Section 232(b) of its Trade Expansion Act, 1962, to levy hefty tariffs to protect American steel producers. This provision of the law gives the US commerce secretary the right to investigate whether certain imports pose a threat to national security.