Tuesday, 17 July, 2018

European Union to impose countertariffs on USA products as of Friday

China and US trade talks Image President Trump claims there is an imbalance in trade between the US and China
Elsie Buchanan | 22 June, 2018, 18:53

President Donald Trump on Friday threatened to slam huge tariffs on imported cars from the European Union, a massive threat in the escalating trade conflict between the allies.

The possibility of such a war has been in focus after US President Trump announced tariffs on Chinese goods and China retaliated with tariffs on most agricultural imports from the US.

The U.S. tariffs hit some $7.5 billion of European products; the EU says that today's measures target almost half that figure, and that it plans to impose a slightly larger block of tariffs later - either in three years, or if/when the WTO rules in its favor.

There could be yet another round of USA tariffs.

Trump had a messy showdown with leaders from Europe and Canada at a recent Group of Seven meeting. Germany is the largest European manufacturer of automobiles, though Germany companies have a huge presence in the United States, with large factories in SC and Tennessee. Several weeks ago, he ordered Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross to launch what's known as a "232" investigation.

Trump has repeatedly singled out German auto imports to the United States for criticism.

Trump imposed tariffs of 25 per cent on European Union steel and 10 per cent on aluminum on June 1.

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John Murphy, a senior vice president at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, estimates that $75 billion in U.S. products will be subject to new foreign tariffs by the end of the first week of July.

Calling the European Union response proportionate and in line with World Trade Organisation rules, she said that they would be removed if Washington removed its metal tariffs.

In a speech Thursday in Dublin, Jean-Claude Juncker, president of the European Commission, decried once again what he suggested was unnecessary aggression from the White House. "In fact, it goes against all logic and history".

"We did not want to be in this position", Cecilia Malmström, the E.U.'s trade chief, said in a statement Wednesday.

Economists and trade analysts worry that there may be no way out of an all-out trade war between the United States and its most vital trading partners.

The 28-nation EU was first expected to do so only next month but EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom said they would introduce "rebalancing" tariffs on about 2.8 billion euros' ($3.4 billion) worth of USA products this week. But if both exports and sales of USA companies inside China are measured, the United States has a surplus of US$20 billion with China, according to Deutsche Bank AG.

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