EU to impose tariffs on select US products on Friday in response to steel tariffs

EU to impose tariffs on select US products on Friday in response to steel tariffs

These retaliatory tariffs affect over $3 billion of US products.

EU tariffs on US goods bourban

Photo: Scott Olson/Getty

The EU officially launches tariffs on a number of US imports today in response to Washington’s steel and aluminium tariffs, which took effect on June 1.

These retaliatory tariffs affect over $3 billion of US products, including motorcycles and bourbon—major exports of Wisconsin and Kentucky. These states are home to Republican leaders Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell, making these counter-tariffs targeted political statements.

The EU is targeting typically American products, especially those produced in the American South and Midwest. These regions rely heavily on agricultural and manufacturing production and also comprise President Donald Trump’s largest support base.

For his part, Mr Trump is expected to adhere to his hardline trade stances, as he did on Chinese tariffs earlier this month. While unlikely, Washington could enact further tariffs on key EU imports, such as the $20 billion of agricultural products imported annually. Such a move risks inflaming the relatively contained transatlantic trade spat into something far more costly—something neither side wants

Instead, Trump is likely to leverage the threat of further sanction, while also offering the chance to lift current tariffs, in a bid to get a better ‘deal’ for US steel and aluminium exports. With midterm elections looming in November, any such agreement would be a boon to Republicans in metal manufacturing states.

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