EU weighs tariffs on bourbon, blue jeans, Harley-Davidson
The European Union is weighing potential tariffs on U.S. goods ranging from Levi’s jeans to Harley-Davidson motorcycles, the president of the EU’s legislative body said Friday.
The proposed tariffs come in response to President Trump’s Thursday announcement that he will impose a 25 percent tariff on steel imports and a 10 percent tariff on aluminum imports next week.
“We will put tariffs on Harley-Davidson, on bourbon and on blue jeans — Levi’s,” European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said on German television, according to Reuters.
Trump’s announcement has drawn condemnation across the globe, with several countries threatening retaliation if he imposes the duties.
“We would like a reasonable relationship to the United States, but we cannot simply put our head in the sand,” Juncker said.
The products listed by Juncker appeared to target industries based in the home states of congressional leaders. Harley-Davidson is based in Wisconsin, the home state of Speaker Paul Ryan (R); Levi Strauss & Co. is headquartered in House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi’s (D) hometown of San Francisco; and bourbon is made in Kentucky, the home state of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R).
Juncker did not make it clear if he listed those particular companies and industries because of their locations within lawmakers’ home states.
According to Reuters, the EU is weighing potential 25 percent tariffs on $3.5 billion worth of goods to “rebalance” trade with the U.S.
Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland also warned on Thursday that Ottawa would take “responsive measures” against the U.S. if Washington imposed tariffs on Canadian steel and aluminum exports to the U.S.
Roberto Azevêdo, the director-general of the World Trade Organization, expressed concern on Friday about the possibility of a trade war stemming from Trump’s proposed tariffs.
“A trade war is in no one’s interests,” he said. “The WTO will be watching the situation very closely.”