Take that, America. Europe's tariffs take effect

US President Donald Trump speaks with the press | Mandel Ngan  AFP via Getty Images

European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker said duties imposed by the USA on the EU go against "all logic and history".

This week, Trump further raised concerns of a trade war by asking his trade representative to evaluate an additional $200 billion in Chinese products for additional duties, a move that followed China's retaliatory measure against the United States.

Brussels imposed the raft of duties on United States products worth 2.8 billion euros (S$4.4 billion) in a tit-for-tat response to Trump's decision to slap stiff tariffs on European steel and aluminum exports.

After being deferred, the duties on steel and aluminium went ahead on 1 June and affect the EU, Canada, Mexico and other close U.S. allies.

Europe's autos stocks sold off rapidly, down as much as 1.3 percent, and Germany's DAX index fell into negative territory, down 0.2 percent as big German carmakers Daimler, Volkswagen (VOWG_p.DE) and BMW, which are heavily reliant on USA vehicle sales, suffered.

The 28-nation EU's trade chief, Cecilia Malmstrom, said Wednesday that the bloc would introduce the tariffs on about 2.8 billion euros' ($3.4 billion) worth of USA products.

The bloc has also filed a formal complaint at the World Trade Organization.

Other countries hit by the USA tariffs have also retaliated, raising fears of a global trade war. European Union steel and aluminium exports now facing U.S. tariffs are worth a total of 6.4 billion euros (RM29.6 billion).

"The trade that we believe in is built on rules, trust and reliable partnership", President Jean-Claude Juncker said in a speech in Dublin last night.

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"We've never seen anything like this", said Mary Lovely, a Syracuse University economist who studies global trade - at least not since countries tried to wall themselves off from foreign competition during the Great Depression. The potential trade action would affect more than $200 billion in USA imports, PIIE said.

The Trump administration this week ratcheted up its accusations that China's trade and intellectual property practices are threatening USA economic interests.

The Chinese have said they will respond in kind.

"No, because the USA is both an important export market and a strong production base for us", Mattes said.

"80% of Mexico's Exports come to the United States".

The Commerce Department is allowing companies to request exemptions from the steel and aluminum tariffs - if they can show that the metals they need aren't available from Americans producers.

India had sought to be exempt from the new U.S. tariffs on steel and aluminum.

Sen. Orrin Hatch, who opposes the vehicle tariffs, did the math for Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross at a hearing this month.

"The EU has a responsibility to stand up for open global trade". Therefore, I don't want cars made oversees.

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