Trump claimed at a rally in West Virginia yesterday that taxing European Union cars at 25% would take the 151bn dollars trade deficit (with the EU) and turn it on its head, i.e. into a US surplus of the same size.
I cannot find a transcript, but the sequence where he says this is quite short https://youtu.be/3dFvGZToi2w?t=4846 from 1:20 to 1:23 or so for full context; the actual claim is around 1:22.
Is Trump's claim likely to be true? Since this is a claim that partly involves forecasting, are Trump's premises based on facts?
The EU commissioner for trade has said that
EU car and car part exports to the US are worth more than 50 billion euros, every year.
ACEA estimates the value of complete cars exported to the US at 37.4bn euros. So the EU-proffered figures seem in reasonable concord (with each other). However I don't discount the possibility that Trump might be using different (larger) estimates for this. But have such more expansive estimates been advanced publicly (e.g. by any of Trump's economic advisers)?
Trump has admitted to making up some data in other trade negotiations, e.g. with Canada. So this claim with respect to the EU could well be a tactic just like that. Is there any indication this might be the case (again)?