European Union to impose duties on USA imports on Friday after Trump tariffs

Ivan Schwartz
June 22, 2018

The targets include steel, agricultural and other products, including bourbon, peanut butter, cranberries and orange juice.

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The agreed European Union countermeasures will initially target a list of U.S. goods worth $3.2 billion (€2.8 billion), most of which will be hit with import duties of 25 percent.

The 28-nation EU's trade chief, Cecilia Malmstrom, said Wednesday that the bloc would introduce the tariffs on about 2.8 billion euros' ($3.4 billion) worth of USA products.

China says will hit back if the latest tariff threats from Trump materialize, while India slaps retaliatory levies on USA goods.

The Trump administration announced in March that it would introduce tariffs of 25% on steel and 10% on aluminium imported into the US.

A Sino-U.S. trade war could disrupt supply chains for the technology and auto industries - sectors heavily reliant on outsourced components such as those supplied by Foxconn - and derail growth for the global economy, analysts say.

The move confirms a tit-for-tat dispute that could escalate into a full trade war, particularly if US President Donald Trump carries out his threat to penalise European cars.

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"The rules of worldwide trade that we have developed over the years with our American partners can not be violated without a reaction from our side", Malmstrom said. The move is in response to the U-S tariffs imposed on E-U metal exports.

Big U.S. manufacturers and automakers were also under pressure after Germany's Daimler cut its 2018 profit forecast and BMW said it was looking at "strategic options" due to the Sino-U.S. trade war. The EU does not rely on the U.S.as a market for its steel exports as much as Canada or Mexico, which are also being hit by the USA tariffs and stand to lose more.

The United States has imposed tariffs on Canada, Mexico and £25bn in Chinese goods.

As painful as the brewing trade war could prove, many have seen it coming.

"The parties that will be most impacted are U.S. companies", he said.

Mr Trump ran for the presidency on a vow to topple seven decades of American policy that had favoured ever-freer trade among nations. India and Turkey have already targeted United States products, ranging from rice to autos to sunscreen.

The EU also has in reserve potential tariffs of 10 per cent to 50 per cent that it could impose on a further €3.6 billion of U.S. imports in three years.

Other reports by GizPress

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