Europe threatens to tax American goods in trade war tit-for-tat

Europe threatens to tax American goods in trade war tit-for-tat

- in Business
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The E.U. is returning fire in a trade tiff with the U.S., threatening to counter President Donald Trump’s proposed steel and aluminum tariffs with an estimated $3.52 billion in new duties on a slew of iconic American products from peanut butter to bourbon, and jeans to Harley-Davidson motorcycles.

European Commissioner for Trade Cecilia Malmström said Wednesday that the group had prepared an initial list of U.S. goods that will see higher tariffs in Europe if the White House imposes Trump’s proposed penalty of 25 percent on steel and 10 percent on aluminum.

“Certain types of bourbon are indeed on the list, as are other items such as peanut butter and cranberries, orange juice, etc.,” Malmström said. The full list will be published “very soon.”

Some had hoped that free trade voices inside the White House would prevail. But with top economic adviser Gary Cohn out, so, too, are hopes of moderation.

“This is basically a stupid process, the fact that we have to do this. But we have to do it,” E.U. Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said last Friday. “We can also do stupid.” He also said there could be new taxes on Harley-Davidson, Levi’s and bourbon.




Image: EU trade commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom

European Union (EU) trade commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom gives a press conference at the European Commission Headquarters in Brussels on March 7, 2018.