EU Retaliatory Tariffs Against US Goods

European Union retaliatory tariffs on US goods came into force on Friday, in response to US tariffs on steel and aluminum. European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said on Thursday the US tariff decision “goes against all logic and history.” “Our response must be clear but measured. We will do what we have to do to rebalance and safeguard.”

European Commission Vice President for Trade Jyrki Katainen said: “If we chose products like Harley Davidson, peanut butter and bourbon, it’s because there are alternatives on the market. We don’t want to do anything that would harm consumers. What’s more, these products will have a strong symbolic political impact.”

EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom said: “We are always open to talk with the US. The whole EU is based on the idea that we talk.” She described the tariffs as “illegal” as they contravened World Trade Organization (WTO) rules.

What the EU is targeting?

– The tariffs target $3.4 billion (€2.9 billion) worth of American imports including:
Steel products such as bars and rods, rolled steel, stainless steel, wire, tubes, chain, pipes and scaffolding, as well as kitchen appliances, ovens, ladders and washbasins.

– Clothing and textiles such as jeans, men’s leather shoes and bed linens.
Eye make-up and lipstick.

– Motorbikes and mopeds “with reciprocating internal combustion piston engines” of 500 cc capacity as well as some boats, yachts, canoes and rowboats.

– Food products including maize, rice, cranberries, cranberry juice, orange juice, sweetcorn and peanut butter.

– Vice products such as bourbon, whiskey, cigarettes, cigars, cheroots (a type of thin cigar) and other types of tobacco.