EU to hit U.S. imports with duties in early July

EU to hit U.S. imports with duties in early July

The European Union expects to hit U.S. imports with additional duties from July, ratcheting up a transatlantic trade conflict after Washington imposed its own tariffs on incoming EU steel and aluminum.

EU members have given broad support to a European Commission plan to set 25 percent duties on up to 2.8 billion euros ($3.3 billion) of U.S. exports in response to what is sees as illegal U.S. action. EU exports that are now subject to U.S. tariffs are worth 6.4 billion euros, Reuters reported.

"The Commission expects to conclude the relevant procedure in coordination with member states before the end of June so that the new duties start applying in July," Commissioner Maros Sefcovic said after he and other commissioners endorsed the plan for duties on U.S. imports.

"This is a measured and proportionate response to the unilateral and illegal decision taken by the United States to impose tariffs on European steel and aluminium exports. What's more, the EU's reaction is fully in line with international trade law. We regret that the United States left us with no other option than to safeguard EU interests,"  Commissioner for Trade Cecilia Malmström said.

That plan also includes duties of between 10 and 50 percent on a further 3.6 billion euros of U.S. imports in March 2021 or potentially sooner if the World Trade Organization has ruled the U.S. measures illegal.

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