European Union countermeasures against Donald Trump’s threats

If American President Donald Trump goes ahead with his threat of imposing tariffs on imports of steel and aluminum, many products will be affected, including clothes, orange juice and cosmetics. The European Commission has said that it will respond “rigorously” to the proposed US tariffs of 25% for steel and 10% for aluminum. It has produced a list of $ 2.8 billion US products, which could impose 25% duty.

Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said on Friday that these products include Harley Davidson bikes, bourbon whiskey and Levi jeans. The Commission briefed yesterday representatives from the 28 EU countries by showing them the list, which is shared between steel products, consumer goods, food and beverages.

EU diplomats said today that the second category, worth just over 1 billion euros, includes shirts, jeans, textiles, footwear, cosmetics, motorcycles and recreational craft. The food and drink category, worth just under 1 billion euros, includes bourbon whiskey, corn and orange juice, according to Reuters, cited by the Athens News Agency.

Some of these products come from provinces that are important to the American Republican party. Harley Davidson, for example, is headquartered in Wisconsin, home of House of Representatives Chairman Paul Ryan. The bourbon comes mainly from Kentucky, the home of Senate Republican chief Mitch McConnell.

The list of countermeasures will depend on whether the Government of Trab will impose tariffs on European steel and aluminum. Trab said the plan will be officially announced this week. Depending on the details of this plan, the Commission is expected to hold a brief public consultation before presenting the proposed countermeasures in EU member states.

Based on World Trade Organization rules, countermeasures have to be adopted within three months of the US tariff decision.