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article imageFrench automaker PSA confirms plans to re-enter US market by 2026

By AFP     Jul 19, 2018 in Business

French automaker PSA confirmed Thursday its plan for a gradual return to the US market even if Washington follows through on a threat to impose tariffs of up to 25 percent on auto imports.

PSA, which manufactures the Citroen, Peugeot and Opel brands, "confirms the implementation of its 10-years progressive return project in North America," as announced in April 2016, the company told AFP in a statement.

The automaker, which it left the US in 1991, started its return in 2016 with the introduction of its Free2Move app "that provides access to all car-sharing providers."

The second phase will use PSA vehicles to "develop mobility solutions," followed finally by US sales of the brands for which "local production is considered."

The statement came two-days after PSA North America CEO Larry Dominique told reporters the US auto tariff threat could delay the company's return.

"Tariffs would affect how fast and at what price point we return to the US market," he said.

President Donald Trump in May began a formal process which could result in raising US duties on all imported autos and parts, goods valued at hundreds of billions a year.

The Commerce Department was holding a hearing Thursday where automakers and parts providers, as well as several governments, are expressing the widespread opposition to the tariff threat, the latest in Trump's multi-front trade war.

A final decision on the auto tariffs is expected to take two months or more.

Dominique also said Tuesday that a new free trade deal Canada was offering includes duty-free imports of European-made cars, meaning PSA could return to the North American market there instead.

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