European Union retaliates against Trump’s metal tariffs

US President Donald Trump speaks with the press | Mandel Ngan  AFP via Getty Images

US President Donald Trump speaks with the press | Mandel Ngan AFP via Getty Images

The European Commission in Brussels gave final approval for a 25 per cent duty on 2.8 billion euros (US$3.2 billion) of EU imports of a range of USA products including Harley-Davidson Inc. motorcycles, Levi Strauss & Co. jeans and bourbon whiskey.

Cranberries, cranberry juice, orange juice, sweetcorn and peanut butter are among the other food products targeted.

The European Union will start imposing duties on a list of USA products as of Friday in response to President Donald Trump's decision to slap tariffs on steel and aluminium imports from Europe.

The tariffs will hit $3.2 billion in US imports to the European Union.

European Union trade official Cecilia Malmström said that the European Union "did not want to be in this position", but that it had no choice.

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Trump has said that the tariffs are needed to protect the nation's national security.

At the start of the month, the U.S. introduced 25 per cent tariffs on steel and 10 per cent on aluminium, with Mr Trump justifying the move as national security.

The tariffs are the latest in a tit-for-tat row between the traditionally close allies, which began when Donald Trump introduced harsh tariffs on imported steel and aluminium. Mexico retaliated against the move two weeks ago while Canada said it would place tariffs on U-S exports from July the first.

EU countertariffs on a list of United States products would come into force on Friday, the European Commission said Wednesday. Second-stage retaliation would involve levies ranging from 10 per cent to 50 per cent on an extra 3.6 billion euros of American goods imported into the EU.

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