Background

EU preparing new tariffs if U.S. slaps duties on autos and auto parts

“The European Union is reportedly preparing to slap tariffs on up to $300 billion of U.S. products if the White House goes ahead with its threatened tariffs on auto imports from the EU. … The threatened figure is enormous, dwarfing the levels of tariffs that have been lobbed at the U.S. in the early stages of what may turn out to be a fully-fledged trade war. It’s around the same as the value of U.S. imports of foreign cars and parts.”

[Fortune]

Mexican election will jumpstart NAFTA talks, adviser says

“We are basically supporting what Mexico has been putting forward,” said Jesus Seade, chief NAFTA negotiator for President-elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador. “And we will be more than happy to explore, proactively, ways to energize the negotiation.”

[Reuters]

State Dept. leaves door open to Iran oil import exemptions

“The U.S. will grant waivers ‘on a case-by-case basis’ so countries can buy Iranian oil after American sanctions are reimposed, a State Department official said, softening the Trump administration’s stance as it seeks to isolate the Islamic Republic after quitting the Iran nuclear deal.”

[Bloomberg]

South Africa signs continental free trade agreement

“The signed agreement will increase intra-regional trade and further more complex levels of production on the African continent.”

[Engineering News]

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