BRUSSELS—The European Union is enforcing tariffs on US$3.4 billion in U.S. products as of Friday in retaliation to duties the Trump administration has put on European steel and aluminum.
The goods targeted include typical American products like bourbon, peanut butter, and orange juice, in a way that seems designed to create political pressure on U.S. President Donald Trump and senior U.S. politicians.
“This response by the European Union is adequate, it is proportionate and it is reasonable. Needless to say, it is in full respect of EU and (World Trade Organization) rules,” said European Commission spokesperson Alexander Winterstein.
Trump imposed tariffs of 25 per cent on EU steel and 10 per cent on aluminum on June 1. Europeans claim that breaks global trade rules.
The spat is part of a wider tussle over global trade. In two weeks, the United States will start taxing $34 billion in Chinese goods. Beijing has vowed to immediately retaliate with its own tariffs on U.S. soybeans and other farm products.