Trump threatens 20 percent tariff on European Union cars

US President Donald Trump

US President Donald Trump

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. If the WTO rules in its favor, or after three years if the case is still going on, the European Union plans to impose further tariffs of 3.6 billion euros on US products.

Customs agents across the Europe's colossal market of 500 million people will now impose the duty, hiking prices on US-made products in supermarkets and across factory floors.

India raised tariffs on a slew of items in retaliation for the United States imposing higher levies on some products shipped from the South Asian nation, echoing steps taken by China, the European Union and other trading partners. "However, the unilateral and unjustified decision of the U.S. to impose steel and aluminium tariffs on the European Union means that we are left with no other choice", the bloc's trade commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom said in a statement on Wednesday. Several weeks ago, he ordered Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross to launch what's known as a "232" investigation. "In fact, it goes against all logic and history". President Trump imposed tariffs of 25 percent on steel imports and 10 percent on imported aluminum from the European Union on June 1. Beijing has vowed to immediately retaliate with its own tariffs on USA soybeans and other farm products in a direct shot at President Donald Trump's supporters in America's heartland.

"The parties that will be most impacted are U.S. companies", he said.

"We've never seen anything like this", said Mary Lovely, a Syracuse University economist who studies global trade - at least not since countries tried to wall themselves off from foreign competition during the Great Depression. China, India and Turkey have already hit back with their own tariffs on United States imports. She had earlier sought to dispel anxieties that the situation would become a trade war. "We don't want to do anything that would harm consumers".

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.

China, India, Mexico, Canada and Turkey are among those to so far hit back with their own tariffs on U.S. imports.

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