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article imageEU will launch retaliatory tariffs against U.S. exports on Friday

By Karen Graham     Jun 20, 2018 in Politics
Brussels - The European Union triggered the first phase of retaliation against the U.S. over import tariffs imposed for national-security reasons. Making good on its threat to hit the U.S. with retaliatory tariffs, the 'First Phase of Retaliation' begins on Friday.
Bloomberg News is reporting the European Commission in Brussels has given final approval for a 25 percent duty on 2.8 billion euros ($3.2 billion) of EU imports that includes a range of U.S. products including Harley-Davidson Inc. motorcycles, Levi Strauss & Co. jeans, and bourbon whiskey.
Bloomberg calls the move the "first phase of retaliation" against the U.S. and is reserving the right to target more U.S. products with additional tariffs no later than March 23, 2021. A "Second State Retaliation" would amount to tariffs ranging from 10 percent to 50 percent on an extra 3.6 billion euros of American goods imported into the EU.
A separate levy of 10 percent is being applied to U.S. playing cards entering the EU. The EU trade commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom said that despite what needs to be done, the bloc "did not want to be in this position."
"The unilateral and unjustified decision of the US to impose steel and aluminum tariffs on the EU means that we are left with no other choice," she said, reports the BBC.
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U.S. Department of Commerce
Products list readied in March
A list of products, that includes cranberries, orange juice, sweetcorn and peanut butter was drawn up in Brussels in March this year when Trump first proposed the 25 percent tariffs on steel imports and 10 percent on aluminum that also targeted Mexico, Canada, and other U.S. allies.
The full list covers about 200 product categories, nearly all of which will be hit with a 25 percent tariff, reports the Wall Street Journal. The WSJ also notes that Trump has threatened to slap a tariff on European cars if the EU retaliates with tariffs.
The BBC notes that in lieu of retaliatory tariffs, South Korea, Argentina, Australia, and Brazil have agreed to put limits on the volume of metals they ship to the U.S., while Canada is imposing tariffs on C$16.6 billion of American goods and Mexico is imposing tariffs on $3.0 billion of American goods.
More about Tariffs, Retaliation, European union, Trump, World trade organization