European Union to begin counter trade tariffs against USA on Friday

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The European Union will start taxing a range of US imports Friday, June 22, including quintessentially American goods like Harley-Davidson bikes and cranberries, in response to President Donald Trump's decision to slap tariffs on European steel and aluminum.

But the European Union tariffs also come in addition to a historic decline in transatlantic relations, especially in the aftermath of the Group of Seven summit in Quebec earlier this month, when Trump withdrew the United States from a multilateral communiqué at the last minute.

In the case of China, even though the world's second-largest economy does not import enough from the United States to match Mr Trump's tariffs dollar for dollar, Beijing can still squeeze American companies in other ways.

China is "fully prepared" to respond to any new list of U.S. tariffs, according to a commerce ministry spokesman, who said the nation will use a combination of quantitative and qualitative measures. The White House has invoked the same rationale in assessing tariffs earlier this month on steel and aluminum imports.

Why is the European Union retaliating?

When the US imposed the tariffs it said it was doing so as a matter of national security - further angering its closest allies, whose tariffs are now targeting President Trump's base of support - in the steel and aluminum industries, but also in farming states, and in whiskey-producing Kentucky. European Union steel and aluminium exports now facing U.S. tariffs are worth a total of €6.4 billion.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau this week said the integration of the auto industry in the USA and Canada means he has "a hard time accepting that any leader might do the kind of damage to his own auto industry that would happen if he were to bring in such a tariff on Canadian auto manufacturers", Reuters reported.

Lim said: "This is going to escalate, with the USA especially looking at German cars". The European Autos Stocks Index fell sharply after Trump's 20 per cent tariff tweet and was last down 1.25 per cent. Ford Motor Co shares went into the red and were down 0.5 per cent, while General Motors Co shares were off 0.3 per cent.

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International Monetary Fund (IMF) chief Christine Lagarde warned on Thursday that the trade war, as well as Brexit, were the key risks to the eurozone economy.

Mexico has announced it will, in response, impose tariffs on U.S. imports, including pork bellies, apples, grapes, cheeses and flat steel, among other products.

"If you have trade barriers and restrictions, we can not create as many jobs as we are planning to", Volvo Cars CEO Hakan Samuelsson told Reuters at an event celebrating the new facility.

"The US is abusing the tariff methods and starting trade wars all around the world".

"No, because the United States is both an important export market and a strong production base for us", Mattes said. The department expected 4,500 requests.

"But then you get to the real business of trying to be prosperous".

"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. "The president has made it very hard for other countries to give him what he wants".

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