The European Union retaliated against President Trump's steel and aluminum tariffs Friday with tariffs on about $3.3 billion worth of American goods, including bourbon, orange juice, peanut butter, and motorcycles.
European Union countries retaliatory trade tariffs on a list of U.S. products, agreed in response to United States tariff hikes on steel and aluminium imports from Canada, the EU, and Mexico, will come into force on Friday, the European Commission announced on Wednesday.
"We did not want to be in this position", EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom said in a statement, adding that the "unilateral and unjustified" United States decision had left the EU with no choice.
European Union trade official Cecilia Malmström said that the European Union "did not want to be in this position", but that it had no choice.
Brussels first drew up the list in March when Trump initially floated the 25 per cent tariffs on steel imports and 10 per cent on aluminium, which also target Canada, Mexico and other close allies.
The EU has also filed a case with the World Trade Organisation (WTO), claiming Trump's tariffs were "pure protectionist" and "illegal". That comes after the US put a 25 percent tariff on $34 billion of Chinese goods, to which Beijing responded by imposing an identical charge on the same amount of American goods.
"We did not want to be in this position", Cecilia Malmström, the E.U.'s trade chief, said in a statement Wednesday.
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She called the European Union response proportionate and in line with World Trade Organization rules and said that they would be removed if Washington removed its metal tariffs. "It's going to hit customers, that's for sure".
EU countertariffs on a list of U.S. products would come into force on Friday, the European Commission said Wednesday.
As painful as the brewing trade war could prove, many have seen it coming.
The EU said that if the situation isn't resolved, or if the US responds with more tariffs, the EU said that it will add additional tariffs on 160 USA products worth $4.3 billion.
Trump ran for the presidency on a vow to topple seven decades of American policy that had favored ever-freer trade among nations.
The United States attacked first, imposing tariffs on steel and aluminium from around the globe and threatening to hit tens of billions of dollars on Chinese products. He charged that a succession of poorly negotiated accords - including the North American Free Trade Agreement and the pact that admitted China into the World Trade Organization - put American manufacturers at an unfair disadvantage and destroyed millions of USA factory jobs.
Trump last week carried out a threat he made earlier this year by announcing he would impose $50 billion worth of tariffs on Chinese goods.