By Edward Taylor
WOLFSBURG, Germany (Reuters) - The global system of international trade is in crisis, the World Trade Organization (WTO) warned on Tuesday, as German car bosses gathered in Washington hoping to stave off potential tariffs on U.S. imports of luxury cars.
Global trade and welfare cannot continue when large countries take unilateral action which deviates from common rules and principles, Brauner warned.
"You need legal certainty and predictability, and if everybody just does whatever they want, it's over," Brauner said, adding the visit by German car bosses may help Trump's administration understand the impact of tariffs on global trade.
Trump warned German carmakers in 2017 he could impose a 35 percent tax on vehicles imported to the United States unless there was some "rebalancing" of trade.
There were too many Mercedes-Benz cars rolling down New York's Fifth Avenue, Trump said, lamenting that Europeans were not buying enough Chevrolets.
To try to assuage Trump officials, German car bosses will outline plans for increasing the proportion of components produced in the United States.
German carmakers are among the largest net exporters of vehicles to and from the United States. BMW and Mercedes, for example, build most of their sport utility vehicles in U.S. plants and import luxury limousines built in Germany to America.
"The German car bosses will not try to negotiate international trade policy, but they will ensure that the people in Washington have the same understanding about the impact of their policies as the mayor of Chattanooga," Brauner said.
(Reporting by Edward Taylor; Editing by Mark Potter)
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