US tariffs: EU response and fears of a trade war

21-06-2018

On 1 June 2018, US tariffs entered into force for steel and aluminium imports from the EU, Canada and Mexico, following US President Donald Trump's decision not to extend temporary exemptions. Argentina, Australia, Brazil and South Korea managed to obtain permanent exemptions as a result of deals struck with the Trump Administration. For all other countries, the US tariffs had already taken effect at the end of March 2018. After talks with the Trump Administration failed to result in a permanent exemption, the EU responded to the new tariffs by lodging a complaint at the WTO and instituting rebalancing measures on specific US exports. A safeguard investigation on steel imports into the EU is also on-going. Other US trading partners have responded in similar ways, raising fears that this could be the start of a full-blown trade war that would harm economic growth.

On 1 June 2018, US tariffs entered into force for steel and aluminium imports from the EU, Canada and Mexico, following US President Donald Trump's decision not to extend temporary exemptions. Argentina, Australia, Brazil and South Korea managed to obtain permanent exemptions as a result of deals struck with the Trump Administration. For all other countries, the US tariffs had already taken effect at the end of March 2018. After talks with the Trump Administration failed to result in a permanent exemption, the EU responded to the new tariffs by lodging a complaint at the WTO and instituting rebalancing measures on specific US exports. A safeguard investigation on steel imports into the EU is also on-going. Other US trading partners have responded in similar ways, raising fears that this could be the start of a full-blown trade war that would harm economic growth.