European Union slaps retaliatory tariffs on U.S. goods

Ivan Schwartz
June 22, 2018

European Union countries retaliatory trade tariffs on a list of USA products, agreed in response to U.S. tariff hikes on steel and aluminium imports from Canada, the EU, and Mexico, will come into force on Friday, the European Commission announced on Wednesday. The president justified the move by saying imported metals threatened America's national security - a dubious justification that countries have used rarely because it can be so easily abused.

It is hard for the White House to unilaterally impose tariffs without input from Congress, but Trump has found several ways to do it this year. Trump is threatening to impose a tariff double that size if the European Union doesn't remove its barriers. The European Autos Stocks Index fell sharply after Trump's 20 per cent tariff tweet and was last down 1.25 per cent. Ford Motor Co shares went into the red and were down 0.5 per cent, while General Motors Co shares were off 0.3 per cent.

President Trump said the measures against the EU are meant to protect USA national security interests, but the Europeans claim it can not be that close allies, many of them North Atlantic Treaty Organisation partners, would endanger US security. Bejing will respond in kind.

"He's right, we make great cars in the United States".

The tariffs and threats have begun to take a toll.

"Steel pricing is usually relatively stable", said Al Rheinnecker, CEO of American Piping Products in Chesterfield, Missouri, which distributes steel pipe to numerous industries.

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So far, Rheinnecker has managed to pass along the higher costs to his customers.

The commission formally adopted the new tariffs, allowing them to come into effect on June 22. The department expected 4,500 requests.

The rising tensions and the chaos surrounding the steel and aluminum tariffs are starting to generate pushback on Capitol Hill. Several weeks ago, he ordered Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross to launch what's known as a "232" investigation.

"But then you get to the real business of trying to be prosperous". So even if the USA and China are having this battle, trade diversion means what may happen is that many of their market groups will be dumped on other markets to ensure that they don't overconsume or overproduce.

"The EU has a responsibility to stand up for open global trade". Therefore, I don't want cars made oversees. An earlier version misspelled his surname as Balesu and incorrectly said he was the restaurant's owner.

Other reports by GizPress

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