EU hits back with tariffs on $3.2B worth of U.S. goods

By Sara Shayanian  |  June 20, 2018 at 11:51 AM
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June 20 (UPI) -- The European Union said Wednesday it will impose retaliatory tariffs on U.S. goods this week in response to President Donald Trump's duties on metal imports from the 28-member bloc.

In a statement Wednesday, the European Union said it would exercise its right to target a list of U.S. products worth more than $3.2 billion beginning Friday.

Cecilia Malmström, the EU commissioner for trade, said the rule of international trade couldn't be violated by the United States without consequences.

"We did not want to be in this position," Malmström said. "However, the unilateral and unjustified decision of the U.S. to impose steel and aluminum tariffs on the EU means that we are left with no other choice. Our response is measured, proportionate and fully in line with [trade] rules."

The commissioner said if the United States removed the tariffs, the European Union would follow suit.

According to the statement, all EU member states unanimously agreed to the approach.

The EU tariffs will hit about 200 U.S. products that include steel, aluminum, corn, rice, orange juice, cigarettes, peanuts, cigars, T-shirts, cosmetics and boats.

The new tariffs come after Trump's decision to impose a 25 percent tariff on steel and a 10 percent tariff on aluminum exports from European allies, Canada and Mexico.

Canada will also impose retaliatory tariffs on $12.5 billion worth of U.S. exports starting July 1. Mexico has hit back with fiscal penalties on U.S. exports like pork, steel, cheese and whiskey.

Trump, at the G7 summit in Canada earlier this month, said the United States has been subjected to unfair trade duties for many years.

"It's going to change. Tariffs will come way down," Trump said. "We're like the piggy bank that everybody is robbing and that ends."

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