European Union slaps revenge tariffs on USA as trade war erupts

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Trump imposed tariffs of 25 per cent on European Union steel and 10 per cent on aluminum on June 1.

Cecilia Malmstrom, the EU's trade commissioner, acknowledged that the European Union had targeted some iconic American imports for tariffs, like Harley-Davidson motorcycles and bourbon, to pressure United States leaders.

The bloc has also filed a formal complaint at the World Trade Organization.

John Murphy, a senior vice president at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, estimates that $75 billion in U.S. products will be subject to new foreign tariffs by the end of the first week of July.

However, China accused the U.S. of an act of "extreme pressure and blackmail" and said it would respond with "strong countermeasures".

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Canada has announced that it will impose retaliatory tariffs on C$16.6 billion (S$17 billion) worth of U.S. exports from July 1.

The spat comes amid a wider push by President Trump's administration to hit other countries with tariffs that would reduce the US trade deficit.

American tariffs on steel and aluminum have also hit Canada, Mexico, India, Turkey and India.

A raft of retaliatory tariffs from the European Union against stiff metals duties imposed by US President Donald Trump will come into effect on Friday, a top EU official said.

President Trump said the measures against the EU are meant to protect US national security interests, but the Europeans claim it can not be that close allies, many of them North Atlantic Treaty Organisation partners, would endanger USA security.

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The EU countermeasures cover a total of around 200 categories of USA products also including various types of corn, rice, orange juice, cigarettes, cigars, t-shirts, cosmetics, boats and steel.

The U.S. Trade Representative said in April that the United States' trade deficit with India had fallen to $23 billion in 2017, a 6 percent decrease, as U.S. goods exported to India rose almost $26 billion, up 18 percent from the previous year.

The new duties have been imposed as tensions over trade continued to grow between the United States and China. The countries have hit each other with tariffs on $50 billion worth of goods; Trump has threatened to add another $200 billion.

Asian stocks fell, extending the worst week for regional equities since late March, amid concern global trade restrictions will curb growth.

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