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EU Issues Extensive List of Potential Targets for Steel/Aluminum Tariff Retaliation

Tuesday, March 20, 2018
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report

The European Union has issued two lists of U.S. exports to the 28-member bloc that could be hit with new or higher tariffs in response to the additional import duties on steel and aluminum that the U.S. plans to impose as of March 23. Comments on these lists from private stakeholders affected by either the U.S. tariffs or the potential EU response are due March 26.

The first list comprises goods for which EU tariff concessions to the U.S. could be suspended as early as late June (90 days after the U.S. tariffs are imposed). This list is primarily composed of a wide range of iron and steel products (including household appliances and articles) but also includes agricultural goods such as corn, rice, orange juice, whiskey, and tobacco products; consumer goods such as cosmetics, t-shirts, shorts, pants, and footwear; and other goods such as motorcycles and boats.

The second list details U.S. goods on which increased duties could be imposed in addition to the suspension of tariff concessions, including whisky, citrus oils, paper products, yarn, fabric, apparel, footwear, bedding, kitchenware, household articles, playing cards, glass, jewelry, aluminum items, dishwashers, clothes washers, batteries, electronics, electrical machines, motor vehicles, and boats. However, a Reuters article states that these measures would only be taken if the World Trade Organization “declared the U.S. tariffs illegal or after a period of three years.” The EU adds that its decision on whether to impose such duties will take into account “future developments including the final form of the [U.S.] measures as regards application to imports from the EU.”

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