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European Union tariffs target United States goods from motorbikes to jeans

22 June 2018

President Trump imposed tariffs of 25 percent on steel imports and 10 percent on imported aluminum from the European Union on June 1.

"Though the immediate effects on United Kingdom retailers might look relatively modest, it is worth paying close attention to this dispute because it's future course is unpredictable, fast moving and could quickly escalate to engulf other, seemingly unrelated areas of trade", he said.

Malmström added that if the USA removes its tariffs, the European taxes would also be lifted.

The European Commission formally adopted a law putting in place the duties on €2.8 billion (S$4.4 billion) worth of USA goods, including steel and aluminium products, farm produce such as sweetcorn and peanuts, bourbon, jeans and motorcycles.

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Canada said its tariffs of up to 25% on almost $13 billion of American products will take effect on July 1.

"We are already beginning to see some increased regulatory scrutiny against US companies operating in the market, whether it is increased Customs enforcement, local emissions inspections at our companies' factories or stricter enforcement of the advertising law", said Mr Jake Parker, vice-president of China operations for the US-China Business Council in Beijing. "Needless to say, if the USA removes its tariffs, our measures will also be removed".

The global trade war deepened Thursday with China reiterating it will hit back if the latest tariff threats from Donald Trump materialize, while India followed the European Union in slapping retaliatory levies on United States goods.

Reuters reported that Gao Feng, a spokesman for the Chinese Commerce Ministry, said the Trump administration's trade policies will in the end be counterproductive for American interests. The big trade conflagration, however, is with China.

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In trade wars, there tend to many casualties and few winners. The countries have hit each other with tariffs on $50 billion worth of goods; Trump has threatened to add another $200 billion. That comes after the US 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.

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

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

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European Union tariffs target United States goods from motorbikes to jeans