Yesterday, the Vice-President of the Commission Maros Sefcovic declared that the European Commission had defined a plan to set a duty on American exports coming to force next July: “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”. This is clearly a response to Donald Trump’s decision to impose tariffs on incoming EU steel and aluminium.
Thanks to the broad support of EU Member States, the Commission has set up a plan of 25% duties on 2.8 billion euros of United States (US) exports. This taxation would concern US products such as orange juice, steel products, jeans, and motorcycles.
Now, States need to agree on whether all the products on the list should be taxed or not. Germany which was the most reticent to impose these tariffs, seems now ready to do so.
The EU also wants to proceed with a World Trade Organisation (WTO) settlement case as it believes that the decision of the US is unjustified and illegal. Hence, Maros Sefcovic insisted on the fact that the response of the EU is legal according to the WTO rules as it is a proportionate answer to the unlawful and unilateral decision of the US.
Finally, Jyrki Katainen, vice-President of the European Commission, said that if Americans want to improve their commercial environment, they will always find a friend on the other side of the Atlantic.
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