Jonathan Ernst | Reuters
President Donald Trump holds a rally at the Kentucky Exposition Center in Louisville, Kentucky, U.S. March 20, 2017.
President Donald Trump said Tuesday night that the U.S. would slap a 25 percent tariff on cars coming from the European Union.
The president’s statement came hours after The Wall Street Journal reported that Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said he had postponed an August timeline to publish a report on auto tariffs.
“We’re going to put a 25 percent tax on every car that comes into the United States from the European Union,” Trump said at a campaign rally in West Virginia.
Ross told The Journal that it wasn’t clear that a report on potential tariffs would come out by the end of August. The Commerce secretary also declined to set a new timeline, according to the newspaper. He said the report was being delayed because of ongoing negotiations with Mexico, Canada, and the European Commission.
Ross also said it was taking longer than anticipated to go through materials submitted by automakers, who are largely against tariffs that critics say would drive up costs to consumers and to their own supply chain.
The president has said he could impose tariffs of 20 to 25 percent on auto imports. In May, he asked the Commerce Department to examine whether such imports are threats to national security. He used a similar argument to put tariffs on steel and aluminum imports.
A White House spokeswoman didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.
CNBC’s Kate Rooney contributed to this report.