US President Donald Trump has threatened to impose duties on imports of European vehicles if the EU begins to pursue US companies because of the new duties in USA on imported steel and aluminium.

“If the E.U. wants to further increase their already massive tariffs and barriers on U.S. companies doing business there, we will simply apply a Tax on their Cars which freely pour into the U.S.,” Trump wrote on Twitter. “They make it impossible for our cars (and more) to sell there. Big trade imbalance!”

The US is currently imposing a 2.5% duty on cars and 25% for vans and peaks coming from Europe, while the EU maintains a 10% tax for cars produced in the United States.

German car manufacturers Volkswagen AG, Daimler AG and BMW AG have many factories in the US. Only in South Carolina the Bavarian company employs more than 9000 workers, making it one of the largest employers in the state. The United States accounts for about 15% of the global sales of Mercedes-Benz and BMW trademarks, 12% of the sales of Audi and 5% of VW’s sales.

In the automotive industry, the US has a deficit of $22.3 billion with Germany and $7 billion with Britain.

The President of the European Commission Jean Claude Juncker announced that the EU would revert to the duties announced by the US. “This is a felling intervention in trade. We will bring the counter-measures in line with the World Trade Organisation to return the balance. Protectionism cannot be a response to our common problem in the steel sector. This is pointless.”, Juncker said.

According to European Commissioner for Trade Cecilia Malmström, customs duties will have a negative impact on global markets. She called for consultations with the US as soon as possible.