EU says tit-for-tat tariffs against US to be ready in July

EU says tit-for-tat tariffs against US to be ready in July

BRUSSELS - Agence France-Presse
EU says tit-for-tat tariffs against US to be ready in July

The European Union on June 6 said a raft of retaliatory tariffs, including on whiskey and motorcycles, against painful metals duties imposed by the U.S. would be ready as early as July.

The European Commission, which handles trade matters for the 28-country bloc, “expects to conclude the relevant procedure in coordination with member states before the end of June,” said European Commission Vice-President Maros Sefcovic at a news briefing.

This would allow “that the new duties start applying in July,” he added.

“It is a measured and proportionate response to the unilateral and illegal decision taken by the U.S. to impose tariffs on the European steel and aluminum exports which we regret,” said the former Slovak prime minister.

From blue jeans to motorbikes and whiskey, the EU’s hit-list of products targeted for tariffs with the U.S. reads like a catalogue of emblematic American exports.

The European Union originally drew up the list in March but pledged not activate it unless U.S. President Donald Trump followed through on his threat to impose 25 percent tariffs on steel imports and 10 percent on aluminum.

The Trump tariffs came into effect on June 1 and the EU now joins Mexico and Canada and other close allies that have announced their own wave of counter-duties against Washington.

The EU commission must now take their proposal to be signed off by the bloc’s member states amid divisions over what path to take against Trump’s unpredictable policies.

France and the Netherlands back a tough line against the U.S., while export powerhouse Germany has urged caution towards Trump’s “America First” policies.

Europe, EU, tariffs, US