European Union to begin counter trade tariffs against USA on Friday

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The Commission formally adopted a law putting in place the duties on 2.8 billion euros (RM12.9 billion) worth of US goods, including steel and aluminium products, farm produce such as corn and peanuts, bourbon, jeans, and motorcycles.

European Union countries retaliatory trade tariffs on a list of United States 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.

Cecilia Malmstrom, the EU's trade commissioner, acknowledged that the European Union had targeted some iconic American imports for tariffs, like Harley-Davidson motorcycles and bourbon, to pressure U.S. leaders.

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.

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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 USA goods.

When a trade war happens, it just doesn't affect the two economies involved but all the economies open to world trade.

"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. China, India and Turkey have already hit back with their own tariffs on United States imports.

After being deferred, the duties on steel and aluminium went ahead on 1 June and affect the EU, Canada, Mexico and other close United States allies. "The U.S.is abusing the tariff methods and starting trade wars all around the world".

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Gao's comments come two days after President Trump directed his top trade official to identify $200 billion more worth of Chinese goods that will be subject to tariffs, escalating the ongoing trade dispute.

Mr Trump ran for the presidency on a vow to topple seven decades of American policy that had favoured ever-freer trade among nations.

Trump has also imposed tariffs on other trade partners as well, slapping another 25 per cent tariff on $50 billion worth of Chinese goods last week.

It had previously registered the move with the World Trade Organization (WTO).

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