EU slaps retaliatory tariffs on US goods

Darnell Taylor
June 22, 2018

Cranberries, cranberry juice, orange juice, sweetcorn and peanut butter are among the other food products targeted.

The European Union (EU) on Friday levied tariffs on estimated $3.2 billion worth of American goods, in retaliation for tariffs US President Donald Trump's tariff imposition on imported steel and aluminium.

"We did not want to be in this position", EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom said in a statement, adding that the "unilateral and unjustified" USA decision had left the EU with no choice.

China says will hit back if the latest tariff threats from Trump materialize, while India slaps retaliatory levies on U.S. goods. Europeans claim it is simply protectionism and breaks global trade rules.

When a trade war happens, it just doesn't affect the two economies involved but all the economies open to world trade.

The spat comes amid a wider push by President Trump's administration to hit other countries with tariffs that would reduce the USA trade deficit.

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 global 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.

The firms called for all tariffs to end, on both the European Union and U.S. side, to boost free but also fair trade across the Atlantic, passing the message to the U.S. Ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell.

The EU has also filed a case contesting the legality of the USA tariffs with the World Trade Organization.

The English-language paper cited research by the Rhodium Group saying that Chinese investment in the United States declined 92 percent to $1.8 billion in the first five months of the year, its lowest level in seven years.

Canada has announced it will impose retaliatory tariffs on C$16.6 billion (RM50 billion) worth of USA exports from July 1. China, India and Turkey have hit back with their own tariffs on USA imports.

The U.S. tariffs hit some $7.5 billion of European products; the EU says that today's measures target almost half that figure, and that it plans to impose a slightly larger block of tariffs later - either in three years, or if/when the WTO rules in its favor.

It had previously registered the move with the World Trade Organization (WTO).

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