Europe will strike back in case of new US tariffs: France

By AFP |June 26,2018 - 09:59 PM

The European Union will retaliate again if US President Donald Trump imposes more tariffs on EU goods to remedy what he calls “unfair” trade relations, French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said Monday.

The EU on Friday imposed a range of tariffs on goods worth 2.8 billion euros ($3.3 billion) in a tit-for-tat response to Trump’s decision to apply stiff tariffs on European steel and aluminium exports.

In response, Trump threatened on Twitter to slap a 20 percent tariff on European car imports, heightening worries of a trade war which could dent growth on both sides of the Atlantic.

“If the US hits us again with a 20 percent tariff on automobiles, we will respond again,” Le Maire told journalists in Paris.

“We don’t want this to escalate, but we’re the ones being attacked,” he said.

The EU tariffs, applied to items ranging from blue jeans to bourbon, appear designed in part to hit industries which are predominantly active in states dominated by Trump’s Republican Party.

“We want President Trump to change his mind. So it’s legitimate for us to use every method at our disposal to make Mr. Trump understand that we do not accept his decision,” Le Maire said.

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