Trump threatens 20 percent tariffs on European Union cars

US President Donald Trump

Now, the world is punching back.

The United States has granted exemptions to some products from Japan and four other countries from its additional tariffs on steel imports, the Commerce Department said Wednesday. Which means even if we are not exporting to the USA directly, we may as well be exporting indirectly by sending our primary products which are commodities and raw materials indirectly to the to the United States through Europe, India or China. The United States' trade deficit with China past year was $376 billion, by comparison. The EU imposes a 10 per cent tariff on imported US cars. The rhetoric is already intensifying. "We don't want to do anything that would harm consumers", he said on Thursday.

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

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.

Canada said its tariffs of up to 25% on almost $13 billion of American products will take effect on July 1.

"The rules of worldwide trade that we have developed over the years with our American partners can not be violated without a reaction from our side", Malmstrom said.

Those personally in the line of fire are among the most concerned.

The possibility of such a war has been in focus after US President Trump announced tariffs on Chinese goods and China retaliated with tariffs on most agricultural imports from the US. "It's going to hit customers, that's for sure". They totally rely on us, which is fine with me.

"We have a trade war - and it's an escalating trade war", SEB chief economist Robert Bergqvist told AFP in an interview.

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

Although China is the world's largest new auto market, with 23.9 million vehicles sold there past year, the USA remains a core focus for most global brands.

Although American goods already in the United Kingdom will not increase in price overnight, shipments leaving the USA for Europe from Friday onwards will be charged the tariffs. The president justified the move by saying imported metals threatened America's national security - a dubious justification that countries have used rarely because it can be so easily abused.

The US commerce department is investigating whether imports of automobiles and automotive parts pose a risk to national security.

And all signs suggest that Trump has no interest of backing down. China's tactics range from forcing American companies to hand over technology in exchange for access to the Chinese market to outright cyber-theft.

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

The exemption applies to seven USA -based companies importing steel products from Japan, Sweden, Belgium, Germany and China, the department said. Bejing will respond in kind.

"He's right, we make great cars in the United States".

The commission formally adopted the new tariffs, allowing them to come into effect on June 22. This week, it said it has processed just 98 requests so far, approving 42 and denying 56. Senators this week grilled Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross.

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

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