European Union tariffs on USA goods come into force

22 June, 2018, 13:54 | Author: Regina Silva
  • WOLFSBURG GERMANY- MARCH 08 The front of a Volkswagen Golf car is displayed at an assembly line at the Volkswagen factory

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

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In return, the European industry leaders want U.S. President Donald J. Trump to withdraw the threat of imposing a 25 percent tax on European auto imports, made after the EU threatened retaliation to metal tariffs. "However, the unilateral and unjustified decision of the United States to impose steel and aluminium tariffs on the EU means that we are left with no other choice", EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom said.

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, who has said the bloc would target "Harley-Davidson, bourbon and Levi's jeans", said on Thursday the United States decision "goes against all logic and history".

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

President Trump said the measures against the EU are meant to protect US national security interests, but the Europeans claim it can not be that close allies, many of them North Atlantic Treaty Organisation partners, would endanger USA security. European steel producers are concerned about a loss of market access but also that steel from elsewhere will flood in.

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European Union officials imposed duties on American goods worth £2.4bn (€2.8bn) today, including bourbon whiskey and motorbikes.

The EU countermeasures cover a total of around 200 categories of USA products also including various types of corn, rice, orange juice, cigarettes, cigars, t-shirts, cosmetics, boats and steel.

The EU said that if the situation isn't resolved, or if the US responds with more tariffs, the EU said that it will add additional tariffs on 160 USA products worth $4.3 billion.

The EU, which is the world's biggest trading bloc, has taken its case to the World Trade Organization. The U.S. and China have been in a tit-for-tat over trade since early May, after they both failed to reach a compromise on Trump's complaints over what he described as unfair Chinese trade practices and a $375 billion trade deficit with the country.

The spat is part of a wider tussle over global trade.

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