US President Donald Trump said he had "very good" talks with the European Union, but if a deal was not struck, Washington would strongly consider auto tariffs.

The White House has repeatedly delayed a decision on whether to impose tariffs on cars from Europe.

Trump's threat to put tariffs on a key European export has triggered a strong rebuke from European officials and companies, which are major employers in the EU bloc.

"We expect to be able to make a deal with Europe. And if they don't make a deal we'll certainly give that very strong consideration," Mr Trump said at the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos, referring to tariffs.

Earlier this month, the Washington Post reported that the Trump administration had threatened to impose a 25% tariff on European automobile imports if Britain, France and Germany did not formally accuse Iran of breaking a 2015 nuclear deal.

Meanwhile, the US Commerce Department has said it will not turn over a report detailing the government's investigation into national security risks that may be posed by imported autos and parts.

Congress inserted a provision in a spending bill last month demanding the White House turn over the long-secret report that US President Donald Trump used to declare in May 2019 that some unnamed imported autos pose national security risks. 

A person briefed on the matter said Trump had relied on a Justice Department opinion to order Commerce not to turn over the report under a Section 232 investigation. 

The Commerce Department said in a statement it is "not releasing the 232 autos report because releasing it now would interfere with the President's ability to protect confidential executive branch communications and could interfere with ongoing negotiations.