EU to start imposing retaliatory tariffs on US on Friday

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The European Union triggered the first phase of retaliation against the US over its metal-import tariffs imposed on national-security grounds, making good on more than three months of threats to hit American goods with tit-for-tat levies.

At the start of the month, the United States introduced 25 per cent tariffs on steel and 10 per cent on aluminium, with Mr Trump justifying the move as national security.

She added if the USA lifts its metals tariffs, the European Union would lift its levies.

The Commission has formally adopted a law putting in place the duties on E2.8bn (£2.46bn) worth of USA goods.

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The EU tit-for-tat tariffs will hit about 200 US products that include steel and aluminum, corn, rice, orange juice, cigarettes, peanuts, cigars, T-shirts, cosmetics and boats.

"We did not want to be in this position".

"The rules of worldwide trade, which we have developed over the years hand in hand with our American partners, can not be violated without a reaction from our side".

However, President Donald Trump has now asked officials to identify a further $200bn of Chinese goods to be subject to a 10% tariff.

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She described the EU's response "measured, proportionate and fully in line with WTO rules".

The move confirms a tit-for-tat dispute that could escalate into a full trade war, particularly if U.S. President Donald Trump carries out his threat to penalize European cars.

The former reality TV star is fighting a trade war on multiple fronts, with China also promising swift retaliation after the USA threatened to impose levies on a further £151bn ($200bn) of Chinese goods.

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