European Union retaliatory tariffs on raft of United States goods go into force

22 Juin, 2018, 13:57 | Auteur: Auguste Feret
  • US President Donald Trump speaks with the press | Mandel Ngan  AFP via Getty Images

The European Union slapped revenge tariffs on iconic USA products including bourbon, jeans and motorcycles on Friday in its opening salvo in a trade war with President Donald Trump.

Dow members Boeing, Apple and Nike may be targeted by the Chinese as the trade war with the USA rages on, according to The Global Times a state-controlled tabloid.

A drop in Japan's Topix index brought the week's decline to nearly 3 percent, while equities also fell in China and Hong Kong.

The tariffs come as the United States squares off with China.

The U.S. will start imposing new levies on $34 billion in Chinese goods on July 6, with $16 billion to come later and then up to $400 billion more; China vows immediate tariffs on soybeans and other agricultural products.

The 28-nation EU's trade chief, Cecilia Malmstrom, said Wednesday that the bloc would introduce the tariffs on about 2.8 billion euros' ($3.4 billion) worth of US products.

China may need to adopt a "hard-line approach" targeting US firms listed on the Dow Jones Industrial Average, if President Donald Trump keeps up with his trade threat antics, the paper reported.

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European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, who has said the bloc would target "Harley-Davidson, bourbon and Levi's jeans", said on Thursday the USA decision "goes against all logic and history".

India had notified the World Trade Organization on June 14 of its decision to increase tariffs on more than two dozen goods from the United States.

Mexico placed tariffs on American products ranging from steel to pork to bourbon two weeks ago. European Union steel and aluminium exports now facing U.S. tariffs are worth a total of €6.4 billion.

Mr Trump said the global oversupply of those metals - driven by China - threated American steel and aluminium producers. But if both exports and sales of U.S. companies inside China are measured, the USA has a surplus of US$20 billion with China, according to Deutsche Bank AG.

Financial markets have been hit harder with the rise in threats, and vehicle companies felt the brunt of that on Thursday, even though companies like General Motors and Ford Motor rebounded from earlier stock price lows.

One thing that may cause Beijing to hold back from a full-scale attack on American companies is concern about the impact it would have on the domestic economy.

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