London, June 22 (IANS) The European Union (EU) on Friday launched tariffs on some $3.2 billion worth of American goods, in retaliation for tariffs US President Donald Trump’s administration imposed on imported steel and aluminium earlier this month.
The bloc slapped a 25 per cent tariff on American products such as whiskey, tobacco, Harley Davidson motorcycles, cranberries and peanut butter, reports The Independent.
They also leveraged another 50 per cent tax on select items such as footwear, some types of clothing and washing machines.
Speaking to the Irish Parliament on Thursday night, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said the EU would “do what we have to do to rebalance and safeguard” against the US tariffs.
“It goes against all logic and history,” he said of the US taxes.
“Our response must be clear but measured.”
The statement echoed the words EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström remarks on Wednesday that the 28-member bloc was “left with no other choice” than to impose retaliatory measures.
The tariffs come weeks after the Trump administration implemented a 25 per cent tariff on steel and 10 per cent tariff on aluminium, affecting trade partners like Canada, Mexico, and the EU, The Independent reported.
Trump threatened additional taxes on European cars if the EU chose to retaliate.
The EU has also filed a case with the World Trade Organisation (WTO), claiming Trump’s tariffs were “pure protectionist” and “illegal”.
They also threatened a second round of tariffs on some $4.3 billion worth of US products if the dispute was not resolved.
Mexico has already announced its own tariffs on US goods, and Canada’s tariffs on nearly $13 billion of US products are set to take effect next month.
Trump has also imposed tariffs on other trade partners as well, slapping a 25 per cent tariff on $50 billion worth of Chinese goods last week.