EU levies tariffs on $3.2B on US goods over metals duties

Source: The Hill | June 20, 2018 | Vicki Needham

The European Union on Friday will slap billions in additional tariffs on U.S. exports in reaction to President Trump’s steel and aluminum tariffs.

The EU said on Wednesday that it will impose a 25 percent tariff on $3.2 billion in American goods ranging from Harley-Davidson motorcycles to jeans and bourbon, the European Commission in Brussels announced.

“We did not want to be in this position,” EU Commissioner for Trade Cecilia Malmström said in a statement.

“However, the unilateral and unjustified decision of the U.S. to impose steel and aluminum tariffs on the EU means that we are left with no other choice,” Malmström said.

She said that the response is proportionate and in line with World Trade Organization (WTO) rules and that if the U.S. drops the metals tariffs the EU will follow suit.

The EU also launched legal proceedings against the U.S. at the WTO on June 1.

The EU’s tit-for-tat tariffs will hit about 200 U.S. products that include steel, aluminum, corn, rice, orange juice, cigarettes, peanuts, cigars, T-shirts, cosmetics and boats.

A separate 10 percent tariff will be imposed on imports of playing cards.

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