Europe

German vice chancellor rejects Trump's German car remarks

  • German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier, left, talks with British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson during an EU foreign ministers meeting at the EU Council in Brussels on Monday, Jan. 16, 2017. (AP Photo/Geert Vanden Wijngaert)

    German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier, left, talks with British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson during an EU foreign ministers meeting at the EU Council in Brussels on Monday, Jan. 16, 2017. (AP Photo/Geert Vanden Wijngaert)  (The Associated Press)

  • German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier, right, talks with British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, left, and Luxembourg's Foreign Minister Jean Asselborn during an EU foreign ministers meeting at the EU Council in Brussels on Monday, Jan. 16, 2017. (AP Photo/Geert Vanden Wijngaert)

    German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier, right, talks with British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, left, and Luxembourg's Foreign Minister Jean Asselborn during an EU foreign ministers meeting at the EU Council in Brussels on Monday, Jan. 16, 2017. (AP Photo/Geert Vanden Wijngaert)  (The Associated Press)

  • EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini, center, talks with German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier, right and Belgium's Foreign Minister Didier Reynders during an EU foreign ministers meeting at the EU Council in Brussels on Monday, Jan. 16, 2017. (AP Photo/Geert Vanden Wijngaert)

    EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini, center, talks with German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier, right and Belgium's Foreign Minister Didier Reynders during an EU foreign ministers meeting at the EU Council in Brussels on Monday, Jan. 16, 2017. (AP Photo/Geert Vanden Wijngaert)  (The Associated Press)

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."