Europe's Counter to Trump's Tariffs Could Hit Harley, Levi's, Bourbon - NECN
President Donald Trump

President Donald Trump

The latest news on President Donald Trump's presidency

Europe's Counter to Trump's Tariffs Could Hit Harley, Levi's, Bourbon

"This is basically a stupid process, the fact that we have to do this. But we have to do it," EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said last week

    processing...

    NEWSLETTERS

    Trump Announces Plan for New Steel and Aluminum Tariffs

    President Donald Trump's plans to impose heavy, punishing penalties on foreign steel and aluminum raised fears of a global trade war and brought a response from global markets. Trump plans to put a 25 percent tariff on steel imports and a 10 percent tariff on aluminum imports. (Published Friday, March 2, 2018)

    The European Union says it is ready to retaliate against the U.S. over President Donald Trump's proposed tariffs on steel and aluminum, with counter-measures against iconic U.S. products like Harley Davidson motorcycles, Levi's jeans and bourbon.

    Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstroem said Wednesday that the EU, the world's biggest trading bloc, rejects Trump's reasoning that the tariffs are backed by the international legal right to protect national security.

    Should tariffs be introduced, the EU and other partners would take the case to the World Trade Organization, she said. The EU is circulating among member states a list of U.S. goods to target so that it can respond as quickly as possible.

    "We cannot see how the European Union, friends and allies in NATO, can be a threat to international security in the U.S.," Malmstroem told reporters. "From what we understand, the motivation of the U.S. is an economic safeguard measure in disguise, not a national security measure."

    Democrats Visit Detention Center In McAllen, Texas

    [NATL] Democrats Visit Detention Center In McAllen, Texas

    A delegation comprised of 25 Democratic members of Congress visited a detention center in McAllen, Texas, on Saturday and criticized the Trump Administration over its immigration policies.>

    (Published Saturday, June 23, 2018)

    Trump has long railed against what he deems unfair trade practices by China and others, and last week declared that his government would levy penalties of 25 percent on imported steel and 10 percent on aluminum imports. The tariffs, he said, would remain for "a long period of time," but it was not clear if certain trading partners would be exempt.

    Malmstroem said Trump's motives do not appear compatible with WTO rules and that this means the EU can activate safeguards to protect its own markets.

    She confirmed that the EU's counter-measures would include tariffs on U.S. steel and agricultural products, as well as other products like bourbon, peanut butter, cranberries and orange juice.

    "This is basically a stupid process, the fact that we have to do this. But we have to do it," EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker had said last week. "We will now impose tariffs on motorcycles, Harley Davidson, on blue jeans, Levi's, on bourbon. We can also do stupid."

    The list of U.S. goods to target is being circulated among EU member states for approval.

    The EU exported about 5.5 million ton of steel to the U.S. last year. The Commission also has plans in case steel from other producers is dumped on European markets.

    Trump to GOP: Stop Wasting Time on Immigration

    [NATL] Trump to GOP: Stop Wasting Time on Immigration

    After repeatedly calling on Congress to solve the immigration problem, President Donald Trump now wants lawmakers to delay immigration reform until after the midterm elections in November. 

    (Published Friday, June 22, 2018)

    EU Council President Donald Tusk, who chairs summits of presidents and prime ministers, said the bloc's leaders will discuss the issue at their next meeting on March 22-23.

    He rejected Trump's assertion in a tweet that trade wars are good and easy to win. "The truth is quite the opposite: trade wars are bad and easy to lose," said Tusk. He urged politicians on both sides of the Atlantic "to act responsibly."

    In Berlin, Germany's economy minister warned that "the situation is serious."

    Economy Minister Brigitte Zypries, whose country is Europe's economic powerhouse, said the EU will "be ready to react appropriately. However, it is our goal to avoid a trade war."

    Zypries said in a statement she hopes Trump will change his mind.

    "Trade creates wealth, when it is based on exchange and cooperation," she said. Referring indirectly to the surprise resignation of Trump's top economic adviser Gary Cohn Tuesday, she added that "advocates for this in the U.S. administration are very important. Therefore the current signals from the U.S. make me worried."

    States to Collect Online Sales Tax

    [NATL] States to Collect Online Sales Tax
    The Supreme Court ruled Thursday that states can now require online businesses to collect sales tax, even if that business doesn't have a physical footprint there. The new ruling reverses a previous decision dating back to the days when shoppers flipped through catalogs instead of swiping through computer screens. 
     
    One government estimate says states stand to reap up to $13 billion in new revenue
    (Published Friday, June 22, 2018)

    Malmstroem underlined that the real problem is oversupply of steel and aluminum in the global market, and she urged Washington to work with the Europeans to address the root causes.

    She recalled that similar U.S. action on steel in 2002 by then president George W. Bush "cost thousands and thousands of U.S. jobs" and said she hoped that Washington has not forgotten this.

    At that time, the EU compiled a list of items for retaliatory tariffs that included steel products, but also orange juice, apples, sunglasses, knitwear, motor boats and photocopying machines. It represented $2.2 billion in U.S. exports to the EU. Bush withdrew the steel tariffs and the list was never acted upon.

    Kirsten Grieshaber contributed to this report.