Background

The European Union will increase its tariffs on imports of several products from the U.S. in retaliation for a recent expansion of U.S. tariffs on steel and aluminum products.

Earlier this year the U.S. extended its Section 232 additional tariffs of 25 percent on steel and 10 percent on aluminum to derivative products that had seen a surge in imports. The EU states that while the U.S. characterized these tariffs as security measures, “they are in essence safeguard measures” that would “significantly limit” EU exports of these products to the U.S., which were valued at nearly €40 million in 2019.

Because consultations with the U.S. “did not result in any satisfactory solution,” effective May 8 the EU will suspend the application of substantially equivalent trade concessions by imposing tariffs of 20 percent on products in CN code 9613.80.00 (lighters) and 7 percent on products in CN code 3926.30.00 (plastic furniture fittings).

In addition, the EU plans to impose an additional 4.4 percent tariff (on top of the existing 10 percent tariff) on products in CN code 9504.40.00 (playing cards) beginning either (1) Feb. 8, 2023, or (2) when the World Trade Organization adopts a ruling that the U.S. measures are inconsistent with WTO rules, whichever is earlier.

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