The European Union mounted a last-ditch push to stop U.S. President Donald Trump from triggering tariffs on foreign steel and aluminum, vowing a “firm” response and warning of widespread damage from a trans-Atlantic trade war.
“I truly hope that this will not happen,” EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom told reporters on Wednesday in Brussels. “A trade war has no winners.”
The EU intends to hit a range of U.S. goods with punitive tariffs in retaliation for Trump’s pledges to impose a 25 percent duty on foreign steel and a 10 percent levy on imported aluminum. His plan is based on a national-security argument that Malmstrom called “alarming” and “deeply unjust.”
In response to the White House’s steel measure, the EU is targeting $3.5 billion (2.8 billion euros) of imports of U.S. goods including Harley-Davidson motorcycles, Levi Strauss & Co. jeans and bourbon whiskey. In addition to such iconic brands, the American products that would face a tit-for-tat EU tariff of 25 percent range from steel bars and motor boats to t-shirts and orange juice.
(c) 2018, Bloomberg · Jonathan Stearns