EU tariffs on US goods come into force

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The European Union (EU) has introduced retaliatory tariffs on US goods as a top official launched a fresh attack on President Donald Trump’s trade policy.

The duties on €2.8bn (£2.4bn) worth of US goods came into force on Friday.

Tariffs have been imposed on products such as bourbon whiskey, motorcycles and orange juice.

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said duties imposed by the US on the EU go against “all logic and history”.

Addressing the Irish parliament in Dublin, he added that “we will do what we have to do to rebalance and safeguard” the EU.

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In a tweet on Friday, President Trump threatened to go further by slapping a 20% tariff on all imported EU cars.

How did this start?

The Trump administration announced in March that it would introduce tariffs of 25% on steel and 10% on aluminium imported into the US.

Mr Trump has argued that global oversupply of steel and aluminium, driven by China, threatens American steel and aluminium producers, which are vital to the US.

After being deferred, the duties on steel and aluminium went ahead on 1 June and affect the EU, Canada, Mexico and other close US allies, including India.

For its part, India has said it will raise taxes on 29 products imported from the US – including some agricultural goods, steel and iron products – in retaliation for the wide-ranging US tariffs.

The new duties will come into effect from 4 August and will affect US almonds, walnuts and chick peas, among other products.

South Korea, Argentina, Australia and Brazil have agreed to put limits on the volume of metals they can ship to the US in lieu of tariffs.

However, Canada has announced it will impose retaliatory tariffs on C$16.6bn (£9.5bn) worth of US exports from 1 July.

And Mexico put tariffs on $3bn worth of American products ranging from steel to pork and bourbon two weeks ago.

Earlier this week, Mr Trump threatened to impose 10% duties on an additional $200bn (£150bn) worth of Chinese goods which he said would come into force if China “refuses to change its practices”.

However, China accused the US of an act of “extreme pressure and blackmail” and said it would respond with “strong counter-measures”.

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