Peanut butter, bourbon and orange juice: ammo in potential trade war
As tensions escalate over Donald Trump’s proposed steel and aluminium levies, the EU has allegedly been drawing up a retaliation list.
PROPORTIONAL RESPONSE: Celia Malmström spoke yesterday
The European Commission’s Trade chief has given a brief outline of measures the EU would be prepared to take to protect the bloc’s economy from proposed US tariffs – including retaliatory levies on peanut butter.
Ms Malmström said: “We have made it clear that if a move like this is taken, it will hurt the European Union. It will put thousands of European jobs in jeopardy and it has to met with a firm and proportionate response.
“This morning, in college, we discussed three stances. These are measures that would defend our interests.”
The commissioner went on to say that the US’ threat did not adhere to World Trade Organisation guidelines, but that any response the EU meted out would.
A provisional list of American products on which the EU can impose retaliatory tariffs has been drawn up by the commission and will be published in the near future, according to Ms Malmström. She added that all the relevant stakeholders will be given the opportunity to lend their opinion.
In response to a question from the audience concerning the targeting of “redneck” communities with the items on the list, Ms Malmström said: “Certain types of bourbon are indeed on the list. As are other items such as peanut butter, cranberries, orange juice etc.”
The Trump Administration’s proposals have sparked fears of a trade war between the US and its allies. They have received criticism from within the Republican Party.