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EU, Canada, Mexico Poised to Retaliate Against U.S. Following Rescission of Steel/Aluminum Tariff Exemptions

Monday, June 04, 2018
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report

The U.S. rescinded June 1 the exemptions it had temporarily provided to the European Union, Canada, and Mexico from the additional import duties on steel and aluminum that were imposed as of March 23. As a result, these trading partners have threatened to retaliate against a broad range of U.S. products within the next few weeks.

The EU has vowed to impose an additional 25 percent duty beginning June 20 and until the U.S. lifts its tariffs against EU steel and aluminum products on hundreds of U.S. goods, including, among others, various apparel, textile, and footwear items, agricultural products, orange juice, bourbon whiskey, tobacco products, cosmetic products, steel and aluminum products, playing cards, sailboats, and motorcycles. The EU has also set forth a second group of products on which duties could be increased by up to 50 percent in March 2021 if the U.S. has not rescinded its steel and aluminum tariffs by then.

In a May 31 statement, Mexico’s Ministry of Economy said it will impose countermeasures against various U.S. products, such as flat steel (hot and cold foil, including coated and various tubes), lamps, pork legs and shoulders, sausages and food preparations, apples, grapes, blueberries, and various cheeses, among others.

Meanwhile, Canada has announced its intention to impose effective from July 1 an additional duty of 10 percent or 25 percent on C$16.6 billion (about US$12.8 billion) worth of U.S. goods. Products under consideration for these measures include various food and agricultural products such as cucumbers, yogurt, roasted coffee, maple sugar and syrup, strawberry jam, chocolate, orange juice, mustard, and tomato ketchup and other tomato sauces, steel and aluminum products, whiskies, cosmetic and personal care products, dishwashing detergents, candles, plastic tableware and kitchenware, plywood, insecticides, handkerchiefs and toilet paper, mattresses and other bedding articles, playing cards, pens and markers, refrigerator-freezers, washing machines, water heaters, and boats. Comments on the proposed measures are due by June 15.

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