European Union imposes tariffs on United States peanuts, motorcycles and whiskey

22 June, 2018, 20:11 | Author: Teresa Adams
  • US President Donald Trump speaks with the press | Mandel Ngan  AFP via Getty Images

European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker said duties imposed by the U.S. on the EU go against "all logic and history". 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.

Such a move would be a massive escalation of the already intense trade fight between the United States and Europe.

Brussels imposed the raft of duties on U.S. products worth 2.8 billion euros (S$4.4 billion) in a tit-for-tat response to Trump's decision to slap stiff tariffs on European steel and aluminum exports.

The EU also has in reserve potential tariffs of 10 per cent to 50 per cent that it could impose on a further €3.6 billion of USA imports in three years.

China holds the capacity to become the future technological hub of the world - and U.S. companies have to embrace this fact or lose to China's biggest technology firms.

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USA stock markets fell sharply Tuesday morning, with investors increasingly nervous about the impact of the escalating fight. USA stock markets are set for a sharply lower open as tensions over trade between the US and China seem closer to a boil.

The EU trade commissioner, Cecilia Malmström, said this week the 28-nation bloc was left with no other choice but to impose tariffs of its own after the "unilateral and unjustified decision of the US".

The U.S. already taxes imports of European cars at a rate of 2.5 percent.

"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 White House has invoked the same rationale in assessing tariffs earlier this month on steel and aluminum imports.

When the USA imposed the tariffs it said it was doing so as a matter of national security - further angering its closest allies, whose tariffs are now targeting President Trump's base of support - in the steel and aluminum industries, but also in farming states, and in whiskey-producing Kentucky.

Lim said: "This is going to escalate, with the U.S. especially looking at German cars".

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The statement followed a Wall Street Journal report on Wednesday that U.S. Ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell was bringing a proposal to Washington from German automakers to eliminate auto tariffs across the Atlantic.

The Trump administration this week ratcheted up its accusations that China's trade and intellectual property practices are threatening United States economic interests. Bejing will respond in kind. Trump said he would then retaliate against any counterpunch from Beijing by targeting an additional $200 billion in Chinese products, and then yet another $200 billion if China refused to back down.

Trade representatives from India and the United States are set to meet in New Delhi next week.

The commission formally adopted the new tariffs, allowing them to come into effect on June 22. Several weeks ago, he ordered Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross to launch what's known as a "232" investigation. The department expected 4,500 requests.

European consumers would be able to find "alternatives", European Commission vice-president for trade Jyrki Katainen said. "The president has made it very hard for other countries to give him what he wants".

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