BERLIN – Germany's vice chancellor, responding to an interview with President-elect Donald Trump, has rejected threats by Trump to put tariffs of up to 35 percent on German automakers if they set up plants in Mexico instead of the U.S. and try to export cars to the U.S. from there.
Sigmar Gabriel, who's also Germany's economy minister, was quoted Monday by the daily Bild as saying such tariffs would make "the American auto industry worse, weaker and more expensive."
Trump had also claimed German automakers don't behave fairly because a lot of German cars are seen in the U.S., but few American cars in Germany.
Gabriel responded that "the U.S. needs to build better cars."
Beyond that, Gabriel suggested more self-confidence in dealing with Trump. He said: "We're not weak and inferior."