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EU's 'First Phase of Retaliation' Against US Launches Friday

The tariffs it threatened in March are on their way
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 20, 2018 10:25 AM CDT
The new tariffs begin Friday.   (Getty Images)

(Newser) – The tariff tit for tat continues, with the EU set to put a wave of new tariffs against US exports into place on Friday. It's a response to the steel and aluminum tariffs that were imposed on the bloc three weeks ago, and the BBC characterizes the to-be-targeted exports as "specifically chosen to have maximum political effect," citing affected products like bourbon whiskey from Mitch McConnell's home state and orange juice from the swing state of Florida. Also in the crosshairs: everything from Harley-Davidson motorcycles and Levis to cranberries, rice, and peanut butter. The full list covers about 200 product categories, nearly all of which will be hit with a 25% tariff, reports the Wall Street Journal.

Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom says the EU has been "left with no other choice" following President Trump's "unilateral and unjustified decision." Bloomberg calls the move the "first phase of retaliation" against the US, and one the EU had been threatening since March. The value of the impacted goods is roughly $3.2 billion, while the affected EU steel and aluminum exports tally up to about $7.4 billion. The Journal notes Trump had previously threatened to retaliate against any EU retaliation by slapping a tariff on European cars. (Read more tariffs stories.)

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