As EU slaps tariffs on US, has world trade war become inevitable?

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The latest shots in a looming trade war were fired on Friday as the European Union imposed $3.3bn in tariffs on US goods.

It is a direct response to recently imposed US tariffs on imported steel and aluminium from the EU, Canada and Mexico.

In making up their own list of products to tax, EU leaders sought to make a point to US President Donald Trump and his supporters that protectionism carries a price.

Among the items now subject to high taxes when entering the EU: bourbon whiskey from Kentucky, the home state of US Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell.

Harley Davidson motorcycles and artisan cheese, both of which are produced in Wisconsin, the home state of Republican House speaker Paul Ryan.

And orange juice – one of the most important crops in Florida: a swing state whose Republican governor, Rick Scott, is in a tight race for a Senate seat.

Nor is the EU alone.

Canada, China and India have all announced sweeping tariffs on US goods in response to Trump’s steel and aluminium levies.

So, where does this leave the international system of rules and treaties that has promoted global trade since the end of World War II?

Presenter: Martine Dennis


Steven Rogers – member of the Donald J. Trump for President advisory board

Deborah Elms – executive director, Asian Trade Centre.

Sam Lowe – international trade expert at the Centre for European Reform 

Source: Al Jazeera News

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