European Union to impose countertariffs on USA products as of Friday

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The Commission formally adopted a law putting in place the duties on 2.8 billion euros (RM12.9 billion) worth of US goods, including steel and aluminium products, farm produce such as corn and peanuts, bourbon, jeans, and motorcycles.

"Based on the Tariffs and Trade Barriers long placed on the U.S. and it (sic) great companies and workers by the European Union, if these Tariffs and Barriers are not soon broken down and removed, we will be placing a 20% Tariff on all of their cars coming into the U.S. Build them here!"

Trump has repeatedly singled out German auto imports to the United States for criticism.

The White House refused to exempt its traditional allies from worldwide tariffs on steel and aluminium, which Trump argues are necessary to protect U.S. jobs and industry. If this investigation finds that the "national security" of the United States is compromised by a reliance on imports, than tariffs can be imposed. Trump has often complained about the 10 percent tariff the European Union imposes on imports of US cars.

The Peterson Institute for International Economics estimates that as many as 195,000 USA workers could lose their jobs over the next three years if demand for cars imported into the US slows because of the tariffs. The EU implemented the tariffs a week earlier than expected, "a signal that the EU is striking back and taking this seriously", said economist Holger Schmieding at Berenberg Bank in London. In fact, it goes against all logic and history.

The imposition of tariffs has raised the specter of a full-blown trade war, which could be costly to consumers, jobs and the global economy.

The EU trade commissioner, Cecilia Malmström, said this week the 28-nation bloc was left with no other choice but to impose tariffs of its own after the "unilateral and unjustified decision of the US". Trump is also looking at new tariffs on auto imports, opening a new front in the trade war.

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"If we chose products like Harley Davidson, peanut butter and bourbon, it's because there are alternatives on the market".

"What's more, these products will have a strong symbolic political impact".

One of the most frequently discussed items on the E.U.'s list is bourbon, a specialty from the home state of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.). Harley-Davidson is from Wisconsin, the home state of Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan.

Canada and Mexico have also announced their own similar countermeasures just as an even greater trade skirmish pitting the USA against China deepens.

In two weeks, the U.S. is due to start taxing $US34 billion in Chinese goods.

As he sought to reach a denuclearization agreement with North Korea's Kim Jong-Un, Trump has likewise minced no words in chastising his European counterparts.