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Daimler's Zetsche relaxed on Trump

By Dave Leggett | 19 December 2016

Daimler chief Dieter Zetsche appears to be taking a relaxed view of the potential impact on business of Donald Trump's election as president in the US.

Zetsche told German newspaper Bild am Sonntag that he does not expect Donald Trump to favour US carmakers over European counterparts, despite Trump's protectionist rhetoric during his campaign.  "I find it hard to believe that it would come to punitive tariffs," Zetsche said.

Zetsche told the paper that protectionism would eventually hurt the US economy. "Prosperity in the United States and the world has come about thanks to growth in world trade," he said.

He also pointed out that diesel sales in the US are not an important concern for Daimler, though he sees diesel sales globally as an important part of the strategy to reduce CO2 emissions generally.

"We are convinced that diesel engines are necessary if we want to reduce CO2 emissions from transport," he told the paper.

During his campaign to be US president, Donald Trump made a number of remarks that appeared to suggest he favoured a US trade policy change with tariffs imposed to help US producers and discourage imports.