EU announces retaliatory tariffs on US exports

The European Union has announced a range of tariffs to be levied against US exports, according to BBC News.

The move is in retaliation to US tariffs on steel and aluminium revealed earlier in June. The EU tariffs target US products such as blue jeans, motorbikes and bourbon whiskey. Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom acknowledged that the EU “did not want to be in this position.”

The tariffs, which also target cranberries, orange juice, sweetcorn and peanut butter, responds to the 25% tariffs on steel and 10% on aluminium. President Trump has justified the tariffs on security grounds.

South Korea, Australia, Argentina and Brazil have agreed to impose voluntary limits on exports to the US while Canada has unveiled its own retaliatory measures. Mexico has also imposed tariffs on American products such as steel, pork and bourbon.

The EU tariffs will impact around €2.8bn of US goods, whereas the US tariffs impact €6.4bn of EU exports. The EU tariffs will be cancelled if the US tariffs are removed.

The EU selected products to have the greatest political impact. Bourbon whiskey is a prime product of Kentucky, the state of Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell. Orange juice is important for Florida, a key swing state.

IMF director Christine Lagarde said a trade war would result in “losers on both sides” and could have a “serious” impact.