A list of U.S. products that can be put on the list that the European Commission wants to subject to import tariffs on was asked for from the industry on Friday by the Commission. The tariffs would only be imposed if the U.S. includes the European Union in it list of countries to bear the Trump tariff on steel and aluminum.
An import tariff of up to 25 per cent is intended to be levied on a range of products, from maize to motorbikes, that are imported into the EU from the U.S. by the Commission. The total value of yearly imports of U.S> products into the EU exceeds a total of 2.8 billion euros ($3.45 billion) in value.
Import tariffs of 25 per cent on imported steel into the U.S. and a 10 per cent tariff on imported aluminum is to be imposed by the Trump administration after the U.S. President Donald Trump gave his assent to the executive order last week. However, the Trump administration excluded Mexico and Canada from the tariff list pending signing of the two countries on a Nafta deal that is satisfactory for the U.S.
It is yet not clear how the European Commission would be able to get an exemption from the tariffs. The Commission is in charge of overseeing the trade policies on behalf of the 28-member European Union. The issue is slated to be discussed between EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom and the U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross at a meeting next week.
Within a period of 60 days of the U.S. tariffs being implemented or May 23 would be the cutoff date for the EU to inform the World Trade Organisation (WTO) about possible counter measures that the EU would take against the U.S. exports to the block in case the two parties fail to get at an agreement to secure an exemption, warned EU officials.
Different types of grains, food exports like fruit juices to clothing, household appliances and boats are among the products that have found their place in the ten-page list of products that the EU could impose tariffs on. Also, a wide range of metal products that are used in the construction industry is are also included in the list.
It would just be months that some of those products in the list would have to face import tariff in the EU. For the other products, it would only be after three years or if the WTO declares the U.S. tariff to be illegal would any import tariff be imposed.
It is estimated that because of the U.S. tariff om steel and aluminum um, the EU would stand to lose a total of about 6.4 billion euros and the combination of the tariff on the two groups of products would hopefully be able to counter that loss.
(Adapted from Reuters.com)