Quantcast
Connect with us

European Union targets peanut butter, orange juice and whiskey in transatlantic trade war with Trump

Published

on

The EU said Wednesday it would hit flagship US products including peanut butter, orange juice and bourbon whiskey with counter measures if US President Donald Trump goes ahead with threatened steel and aluminium tariffs.

The blow by Brussels came hours after Trump’s trade offensive brought the resignation of his top economic advisor Gary Cohn, an influential ex-Goldman Sachs banker who fiercely opposed the measures.

ADVERTISEMENT

EU trade commissioner Cecilia Malmstroem said a full-on transatlantic trade war was “not in anybody’s interests” — a stark contrast from Trump, who last week declared trade wars were “good and easy to win”.

“A trade war has no winners,” Sweden’s Malmstroem told reporters after the European Commission, which handles trade matters for the bloc, discussed the tariffs.

“We should be very careful with that word… there are only losers in that, and that’s why we will respond in a proportionate and balanced way.”

The European Union is holding fire on its reprisals as Trump has yet to sign into effect his plan to set tariffs for what he calls unfair competition for US industry, but Malmstroem said a list of products had been drawn up including steel, industrial and agricultural items.

“Certain types of bourbon are on the list as are other items such as peanut butter, cranberries, orange juice,” Malmstroem said.

ADVERTISEMENT

European Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker on Friday threatened to hit big-name US brands such as Harley Davidson motorbikes and Levi’s jeans with import duties, prompting Trump to fire back a threat to tax cars from the EU.

Despite Juncker’s headline-grabbing threat to iconic US brands, the EU’s hitlist does not mention specific businesses.

– ‘Thousands of jobs’ –

ADVERTISEMENT

Malmstroem said the EU was still trying to persuade Washington not to go ahead with the tariffs, which she said would threaten “thousands of European jobs”.

The EU is also looking at “safeguard” measures to protect its industry — restricting the bloc’s imports of steel and aluminium to stop foreign supplies flooding the European market, which is allowed under World Trade Organisation (WTO) rules.

ADVERTISEMENT

Trump, elected on a promise to roll back the effects of globalisation on the US economy with an “America First” platform, said Thursday he planned to impose 25 percent tariffs on steel imports and 10 percent on aluminium.

Juncker, who on Wednesday met Lakshmi Mittal, the boss of the world’s top steelmaker ArcelorMittal, said last week the EU would “react firmly” to protect European industry.

Europe exports around five billion euros’ ($4 billion) worth of steel and a billion euros’ worth of aluminium to the US each year, and the commission estimates Trump’s tariffs could cost some 2.8 billion euros.

ADVERTISEMENT

As well as making it harder for European metal to find buyers in the US, tariffs could also mean other foreign producers redirect their output to the EU, pushing the market there down.

Brussels wants to maximise the political impact of its reprisals on the US while minimising the impact of a trade war on European consumers.

European Commission Vice President Jyrki Katainen told AFP on Friday the bloc could form a “coalition of like-minded countries” to file a complaint at the WTO, though this procedure usually takes around two years.


Report typos and corrections to: [email protected].
READ COMMENTS - JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Continue Reading

2020 Election

Your guide to the 2020 Democrats: Who’s in, who’s out and WTF is going on anyway?

Published

on

With the Iowa caucuses less than two months away, the 2020 Democratic presidential field is finally starting to achieve ... no, forget it. It's definitely not coherent and it's probably not permanent either; we may well see more dropouts and late entries. But with the departure of Sen. Kamala Harris (and the earlier departures of a bunch of guys whose names you don't remember), the field now has a recognizable shape.

There's a frontrunner, who has led almost every national poll since last winter, allowing for a few outlier polls and a brief period around the end of the summer. There are three other leading contenders, two of whom have been near the top of the polls for months, while the third only recently emerged from the pack. There is a pack of dark-horse candidates, whose odds of being elected president now approach zero but who remain in the race for various reasons.  There are some with no shot at all. There are two fringe candidates, likely using this campaign to explore career options. And there's a pair of billionaires who hope to buy their way to the presidency by spending alarming amounts of money on campaign ads. That probably won't work — but you might have heard the same thing about another billionaire in that other party, a few years back.

Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

Trump fires back at Chris Wray after the FBI Director sharply breaks with the president on IG report

Published

on

Donald Trump snarled at his own FBI director on Tuesday morning after the law enforcement official backed the so-called "Horowitz report" -- breaking ranks with the president and Attorney General Bill Barr.

Taking to Twitter, Trump wrote: "I don’t know what report current Director of the FBI Christopher Wray was reading, but it sure wasn’t the one given to me. With that kind of attitude, he will never be able to fix the FBI, which is badly broken despite having some of the greatest men & women working there!"

Continue Reading
 

Breaking Banner

Morning Joe panel scorches Barr investigator Durham as a ‘PR hack for a failed reality TV show host’

Published

on

An extensive segment on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" on Tuesday morning discussing Attorney General Bill Barr dismissing his own department's inspector general report showing no "Deep State" conspiracy against Donald Trump, turned to Barr's hand-selected investigator John Durham's intrusive statement late in the day.

Continue Reading