May 24, 2018 / 10:40 AM / 9 months ago

U.S. auto probe is hard to understand: EU commissioner

FILE PHOTO: European Commission Vice-President Jyrki Katainen looks on during a news conference on the launch of VentureEU, a Pan-European Venture Capital Funds-of-Funds programme in Brussels, Belgium, April 10, 2018. REUTERS/Eric Vidal

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The United States investigation into car and truck imports on grounds of national security is very hard to understand, a senior EU official said on Thursday.

The Trump administration has launched a national security probe under Section 232 of its Trade Expansion Act of 1962 that could lead to import tariffs on vehicle and parts imports similar to those imposed on steel and aluminum in March.

“It obviously would be against the WTO (rules) and it’s very difficult to imagine it to create any sort of threat to national security. It’s very difficult to understand,” European Commission Vice President Jyrki Katainen told a news conference.

“But we have now just heard what has been said and there is a long journey to the practice ... We don’t expect this to further complicate the issue. We just have to find a solution that is fair.”

Reporting by Philip Blenkinsop; Editing by Alastair Macdonald

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