EU will consider import duties for goods from the United States
The European authorities headed by the EC President Jean-Claude Juncker debated the retaliatory measures that the EU may introduce should the US President Trump go ahead with his plan of duties on imported steel and aluminium. The EC also considers the possibility of filing a complaint with the WTO against the United States and introducing protective measures against a massive influx of the American steel products from other countries onto the European market.
The European Union, it was announced, might impose import duties on the US goods worth EUR 2.8 billion (USD 3.5 billion). The EU plans similar duties on a number of consumer and agriculture products, as it follows from the list published by the EC. It also includes the US steel imports.
The counter-measures by the European Union might include taxing a wide range of products imported from the US including T-shirts, jeans, cosmetics and other consumer goods, motorcycles and pleasure boats of combined worth about EUR 1 billion; orange juice, bourbon whisky, corn and other agricultural products worth EUR 951 million, along with steel and other industrial products for EUR 854 million.
In March, the EC discussed these measures in Brussels with the representatives of EU governments. The day before, the US President Donald Trump announced that he was going to impose higher import duties on steel and aluminium in order to protect the American producers. The White House later admitted that the administration is still to resolve a number of issues.
Trump believes that higher duties will protect jobs in the USA. However, higher prices for the consumers of steel and aluminium (such as the automotive industry and O&G sector), on the contrary, will lead to a higher reduction of jobs than those created as a result of the new duties, experts warn.
Besides, there are serious concerns over the possible response of the steel exporters, which may ultimately hit the exports of the US agriculture products to the same markets.