German government spokesman Steffen Seibert spoke of continuing free markets on Monday in Berlin and said they did not want a trade war with the US.

He said: "We do not want any escalation. And we do not want anything similar to a trade war. It cannot be in anyone's interest. That is why now it is important to see, alongside with France, the other member states and the commission, what will be decided and implemented by the US government, and then, decide which is the appropriate reaction.”

The response came after US President Donald Trump threatened to tax car imports from the European Union.

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