Published: Thu, June 21, 2018
Business | By Kate Woods

European Union retaliatory tariffs to hit U.S. products on Friday

On March 1, President Donald Trump announced that the United States would be imposing a 25 percent global tariff on all steel imports to the US and a 10 percent global tariff on all aluminum imports.

European Union countries retaliatory trade tariffs on a list of USA 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.

Mexico has announced it will, in response, impose tariffs on USA imports, including pork bellies, apples, grapes, cheeses and flat steel, among other products.

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She called the European Union response proportionate and in line with World Trade Organization rules and said that they would be removed if Washington removed its metal tariffs.

"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 products affected will include cigarettes, denim, peanut butter, orange juice, blue jeans, bourbon, and motorcycles.

It had previously registered the move with the World Trade Organization (WTO).

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Trump has said that the tariffs are needed to protect the nation's national security.

After months of talks, the Trump administration ended in June a temporary two-month exemption for the European Union as well as Mexico and Canada, all of which have retaliated or plan to do so soon.

The European Union will slap United States products with a series of retaliatory tariffs from Friday, it confirmed this morning. The duties will cost over $3.2 billion to the US economy and go into effect on Friday.

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The EU said that if the situation isn't resolved, or if the US responds with more tariffs, the EU said that it will add additional tariffs on 160 USA products worth $4.3 billion.

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