Whiskey, blue jeans and steel: Here is EU's US trade war hit list

The European Union drew up the list in March but pledged not activate it unless US President Donald Trump followed through on his threat to impose tariffs on steel imports and aluminium.

Published: 01st June 2018 06:38 AM  |   Last Updated: 01st June 2018 06:58 AM   |  A+A-

Representational image of European Union flag | AP


BRUSSELS: From blue jeans to motorbikes and whiskey, the EU's hit list of products to target for tariffs in the event of a trade war with the US reads like a catalogue of emblematic American exports.

The European Union drew up the list in March but pledged not activate it unless US President Donald Trump followed through on his threat to impose 25 percent tariffs on steel imports and 10 percent on aluminium.

This list was already sent by the EU to the World Trade Organization (WTO) on May 18, in anticipation of Washington's decision to go through with the tariffs. The measures could be ready to unleash 30 days after that date.

The list does not specifically name brands but European Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker spelled out in March that the bloc was "preparing import duties for US products including Harley-Davidson, Bourbon and Levi's jeans."

The EU estimates the US tariffs would cost the bloc around 2.8 billion euros ($3.27 billion) and its counter measures aim to penalise imports from the United States to the same value, while also generating political pressure on Trump at home from industries whose exports would be hit.

Here are some highlights from the EU's list, which are subject to change based on the final US tariff decision.

- Steel -
Dozens of steel products are targeted, including bars and rods, rolled steel, stainless steel, wire, tubes, chain, pipes and scaffolding, as well as kitchen appliances, ovens, ladders and washbasins.

- Clothing and fabrics -
Clothing includes "trousers and breeches of cotton denim" -- better known as jeans -- along with bed linen and men's leather footwear. Swimwear and underwear are excluded.

- Cosmetics -
Eye make-up and lipstick are listed as together they accounted for more than 280 million euros worth of EU imports from the US in 2017.

- Transport -
Motorbikes and mopeds "with reciprocating internal combustion piston engines" of 500 cc capacity and above includes most Harley-Davidson models. Boats, yachts, canoes and rowing boats are also on the list.

- Food and drink -
Maize, rice, cranberries, cranberry juice, orange juice, sweetcorn and peanut butter are among the food products targeted.

The list also covers bourbon whiskey -- the EU imported some 415 million euros worth from the US in 2017, along with another 150 million euros worth of whiskey without the "bourbon" designation.

- Other -
Cigarettes, cigars, cheroots (a type of thin cigar) and other types of tobacco are there. 

A further list containing safety glass, mirrors and drinking glasses and playing cards is only provisional for now and may be used at a later date.


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