European Union to impose countertariffs on U.S. products as of Friday

Gladys Abbott
June 22, 2018

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

Now, the world is punching back.

The products affected will include cigarettes, denim, peanut butter, orange juice, blue jeans, bourbon, and motorcycles.

The equivalent value of €2.8 billion worth of U.S. goods that will be hit by import duties charged by the EU. That comes after the USA put a 25 percent tariff on $34 billion of Chinese goods, to which Beijing responded by imposing an identical charge on the same amount of American goods. Beijing has vowed to retaliate with its own tariffs on US soybeans and other farm products in a direct shot at US President Donald Trump's supporters in America's heartland.

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.

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. "China trade war. In terms of how we manage and adapt, this is something all our high-level managers are making various plans on", Chairman Terry Gou said at the company's annual general meeting.

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Mexico placed tariffs on American products ranging from steel to pork to bourbon two weeks ago.

"The rules of worldwide trade, which we have developed over the years hand in hand with our American partners, can not be violated without a reaction from our side", she said.

It had previously registered the move with the World Trade Organization (WTO). Trump would start July 6 by taxing $34 billion worth of products and later add tariffs on an additional $16 billion in goods. Both sides have promised to impose tariffs early next month on billions of dollars in goods.

The commission formally adopted the new tariffs, allowing them to come into effect on June 22.

Daimler on Wednesday cut its 2018 profit forecast while BMW, whose Spartanburg, South Carolina plant is the largest single exporter of vehicles in the United States, said it was looking at "strategic options" because of the threatened trade war.

"The president has been so belligerent that it becomes nearly impossible for democratically elected leaders - or even a non-democratic leader like (Chinese president) Xi Jinping - to appear to kowtow and give in", said Philip Levy, senior fellow at the Chicago Council on Global Affairs and a former White House trade adviser.

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