European Union counter-tariffs against United States come into effect on Friday - commission

White House downplays China trade tensions as ‘dispute

White House downplays China trade tensions as ‘dispute

The European Union is enforcing $3.4 billion United States in tariffs on USA products as of Friday in retaliation to duties the Trump administration has put on European steel and aluminum.

"We did not want to be in this position", EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom said in a statement, adding that the "unilateral and unjustified" USA decision had left the EU with no choice.

The global trade war deepened Thursday with China reiterating it will hit back if the latest tariff threats from Donald Trump materialize, while India followed the European Union in slapping retaliatory levies on United States goods.

From the start of June, the European Union has been hit by tariffs of 25 per cent on steel and 10 per cent on aluminium imports imposed by US President Donald Trump, who has justified the move on the grounds of national security. Europeans claim that is simply protectionism and breaks global trade rules.

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Trump had directed the Commerce Deparment to launch an investigation into imported autos in May, similar to the procedure that led to the steel and aluminum tariffs. "Needless to say, if the USA removes its tariffs, our measures will also be removed".

"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 world's most-powerful central bankers this week warned that escalating worldwide trade tensions have started damaging confidence among companies, threatening the global economic expansion.

Those personally in the line of fire are among the most concerned. Trump would start July 6 by taxing $34 billion worth of products and later add tariffs on an additional $16 billion in goods.

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"This response by the European Union is adequate, it is proportionate and it is reasonable". "It's going to hit customers, that's for sure".

The trade war risks significantly raising prices for consumers.

Trump ran for the presidency on a vow to topple seven decades of American policy that had favored ever-freer trade among nations. 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. The US has imposed tariffs on Canada, Mexico and £25bn in Chinese goods.

Based on the Tariffs and Trade Barriers long placed on the U.S. and it great companies and workers by the European Union, if these Tariffs and Barriers are not soon broken down and removed, we will be placing a 20% Tariff on all of their cars coming into the U.S. Build them here!

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