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

22 June, 2018, 20:54 | Author: Frank Williams
  • China and US trade talks

On Friday, the European Union retaliated by slapping tariffs on $3 billion worth of USA exports, including 25 percent duties on Harley-Davidson motorcycles (which are manufactured in Paul Ryan's home district), bourbon (which is bottled in Mitch McConnell's home state), and corn (which is, of course, a staple of many breadbasket states that voted for Donald Trump).

It was the first time he had threatened to impose a specific level of tariffs on automobiles from Europe.

European Union slapped a 25 per cent tariff on American products such as whiskey, tobacco, Harley Davidson motorcycles, cranberries and peanut butter, reports The Independent.

In a tweet Friday, Trump complains about European Union trade barriers and vowed "if these Tariffs and Barriers are not soon broken down and removed, we will be placing a 20% Tariff on all of their cars coming into the U.S. Build them here!"

China says will hit back if the latest tariff threats from Trump materialize, while India slaps retaliatory levies on USA goods.

Trump's outbursts were the latest in which he has clashed with America's closest allies, even as he has had warm words for autocrats like North Korean leader Kim Jong un, with whom he had a historic meeting last week, and Russia's Vladimir Putin.

German automakers did not comment on Trump's tweet. Germany is the largest European manufacturer of automobiles, though Germany companies have a huge presence in the United States, with large factories in SC and Tennessee.

Mexico has announced it will, in response, impose tariffs on United States imports, including pork bellies, apples, grapes, cheeses and flat steel, among other products. Senators this week grilled Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross.

More news: Fernando Alonso wins on debut in 24 Hours Le Mans race

The EU tariffs came into force just a week after China accused the United States of starting a trade war.

President Trump is threatening to impose a 20 percent tariff on all auto imports from Europe, ahead of results from an investigation initiated last month by his own Commerce Department. Beijing has vowed to immediately retaliate with its own tariffs on US soybeans and other farm products. Trump's tariffs, he said, contradict "all logic and history".

European Union trade official Cecilia Malmström said that the European Union "did not want to be in this position", but that it had no choice.

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

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A spokesman for Prime Minister Theresa May said she expects to discuss trade tariffs with the U.S. president during his United Kingdom visit in July.

"What's more, these products will have a strong symbolic political impact". BMW is one of South Carolina's largest employers, with more than 9,000 workers in the state. Harley-Davidson is from Wisconsin, the home state of Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan. The new tariffs will go into affect August 4.

"'The people of Germany are turning against their leadership as migration is rocking the already tenuous Berlin coalition", Trump tweeted earlier this week.

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