As has been expected and threatened for the past few weeks, European Union governments have signed off on the first phase of retaliation against US President Trump’s metal-import-tariffs, opening the door for a special levy on a range of American goods as soon as next week.
After Trump’s initial moves in March, the European Union began weighing potential tariffs on U.S. goods ranging from Levi’s jeans to Harley-Davidson motorcycles.
“We would like a reasonable relationship to the United States, but we cannot simply put our head in the sand,” Juncker said.
And now, as expected, Bloomberg reports that representatives of the bloc’s governments meeting in Brussels agree to impose a 25% duty on 2.83 billion euros ($3.29 billion) of EU imports of U.S. products including Harley-Davidson motorcycles, Levi jeans and bourbon whiskey.
The tit-for-tat levy still needs to be triggered by the European Commission, the 28-nation EU’s executive arm, which intends to do so within days and has said the measure could take effect as soon as June 20
On a side note, Harley-Davidson is based in Wisconsin, the home state of Speaker Paul Ryan (R); Levi Strauss & Co. is headquartered in House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi’s (D) hometown of San Francisco; and bourbon is made in Kentucky, the home state of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R).
Additionally, Bloomberg notes that the EU is reserving the right to target more American products with further duties no later than March 23, 2021.