The retaliatory import tariffs that has been announced to be imposed by the European Union on goods from the United States would be implemented from next month. The list of goods include a range of products from Harley-Davidson motorbikes to jeans.
The European commission said it enjoyed complete support from all the 28 member states to act, despite the well known reluctance of UK’s international trade secretary, Liam Fox to completely support the tit for tat tariffs on the US products by the EU.
The EU aims to implement the “rebalancing” tariffs on US good worth about €2.8bn (£2.5bn) which includes US steel om addition to other industrial and agricultural good such as bourbon, peanut butter, cranberries and orange juice even though the block is still in the process of finalizing the list which will be submitted by it to the World Trade Organization (WTO).
A complaint has also been filed with the WTO by the EU. there are plans by the EU to further impose tariffs of €3.6bn on US products if the case still continues to go on after three years.
“National security” interest of the U.S. was cited as the reason for the imposition of 25% tariffs on EU steel imports and 10% tariffs on imported aluminum by Trump starting 1 June this year.
the EU regretted the White House’s “illegal” act, said the European commission vice-president Maroš Šefčovič after a meeting of senior EU officials.
He said: “The new duties start applying in July. It is a measured and proportionate response to the unilateral and illegal decision taken by the United States.”
Backing of EU’s retaliatory measures t6o the US tariffs has not been publicly done by Fox, an advocate of Brexit. He also sounded hope that the US would exempt the UK from the tariffs following the completion of Brexit.
On the other hand, an announcement that the action against US importers has been supported by all of the member states of the EU against US importers was made by Jyrki Katainen, the commission’s vice-president for jobs and a former Finnish prime minister.
He said: “We have had the full support from all the member states on these issues which we are about to propose now. All the member states understand that if they want to defend rules and trade we have to play by the book. It is difficult to assess what President Trump will decide to do next but this is our response.”
At the same time, following the decision of Trump to pull out of the Iran nuclear deal and the threat of new sanctions against the country has forced UK, France and Germany to write a joint letter to the US demanding that European companies be exempt from those sanctions.
The letter was sent to the US Treasury secretary, Steven Mnuchin and the secretary of state, Mike Pompeo.
The three nations wrote: “Building on our discussions at several occasions, as close allies we expect that the extraterritorial effects of US secondary sanctions will not be enforced on EU entities and individuals, and the United States will thus respect our political decision and the good faith of economic operators within EU legal territory.”
(Adapted from TheuGardian.com)