European Union to begin counter trade tariffs against U.S. on Friday

Cornelia Mascio
Giugno 21, 2018

European Union countries retaliatory trade tariffs on a list of United States products, agreed in response to U.S. tariff hikes on steel and aluminium imports from Canada, the EU, and Mexico, will come into force on Friday, the European Commission announced on Wednesday.

"We do 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.

The new duties also include other categories of imported goods including various types of corn, rice, orange juice, cigarettes, cigars, T-shirts, cosmetics, boats, and steel, Bloomberg notes.

The EU's executive body would have to persuade fellow EU member states to back a radical free-trade approach many have shown little interest in, said Dow Jones.

"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.

Last week, the United States imposed 25% tariffs on $50bn of Chinese products, with Beijing immediately retaliating by matching the U.S. levy.

In March, Trump chose to hit importers with a tariff of 25 percent on steel and 10 percent on aluminum.

The tariffs, which will hit American products including motorcycles and denim, are a response to Trump administration tariffs on steel and aluminum exports from Europe.

Canada and Mexico followed with tit-for-tat tariffs on U.S. steel and aluminium.

"The United States has initiated a trade war and violated market regulations, and is harming the interests of not just the people of China and the USA, but of the world".

The US measures have resulted in official complaints to the World Trade Organisation by those targeted, but such disputes have a habit of dragging on for months if not years.

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