European authorities will react to any U.S. auto tariff move: Le Monde

FILE PHOTO: European Commission Vice-President Jyrki Katainen attends 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/File Photo

PARIS (Reuters) - European Union authorities will respond to any U.S. move to raise tariffs on cars made in the bloc, EU Commission Vice President Jyrki Katainen told French newspaper Le Monde.

U.S. President Donald Trump on Friday threatened to escalate a trade war with Europe by imposing a 20 percent tariff on all imports of EU-assembled cars.

"If they decide to raise their import tariffs, we'll have no choice, again, but to react," Katainen told Le Monde, in a report published on Saturday. "We don't want to fight (over trade) in public via Twitter. We should end the escalation."

(Reporting by Mathieu Rosemain; Editing by Edmund Blair)