EU – The European Union has issued a list of possible measures in retaliation against US’s metal tariffs which came into effect 1 June unless Trump administration shuns away from the trade war which threatens the economies of both the countries.

According to FoodIngredientsFirst, the EU has pledged to implement the retaliatory measures and seek a settlement dispute at the World Trade Organization (WTO) unless US exempts the allied member states from the new tariffs.

Among them are various sweetcorn categories, including frozen, kidney beans, maize (except seeds for sowing), some categories of semi-milled rice, peanut butter, cranberries and orange juice as well as bourbon whiskey in certain measurements and containers.

The move intensifies trade tension between US and its allies including the EU and Canada which buys half of US steel exports as well as impacting on both the manufacturers and the producers.

The Beer Institute estimates that over half the beer produced in the US is packaged in aluminium cans or bottles and that the 10% tariff could hit the US beverage industry with an additional US$347.7 million in tax.

The tariffs also come with possible job losses and price rises meaning risk of fluctuating raw aluminium availability and costs.

“I am concerned by this decision.

The EU believes these unilateral US tariffs are unjustified and at odds with WTO rules. This is protectionism, pure and simple.

Over the past months, we have continuously engaged with the US at all possible levels to address the problem of overcapacity in the steel sector jointly,” said President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker.

“Overcapacity remains at the heart of the problem and the EU is not the source of but on the contrary equally hurt by it.

That is why we are determined to work towards structural solutions together with our partners.

We have also consistently indicated our openness to discussing ways to improve bilateral trade relations with the US but have made it clear that the EU will not negotiate under threat,” he adds.

Commenting on the matter, Commissioner for Trade Cecilia Malmström said, “Now that we have clarity, the EU’s response will be proportionate and under WTO rules. We will now trigger a dispute settlement case at the WTO since these measures go against agreed international rules.

We will also impose rebalancing measures and take any necessary steps to protect the EU market from trade diversion caused by these US restrictions.”

Canada also has announced it was planning trade-restrictive countermeasures which could affect US$12.8 billion of US goods.

This may include 10% tariffs on a wide variety of items which include yogurts, soy sauce, strawberry jam, pizza, quiche, orange juice, whiskey, soup, coffee, water and mixed condiments.

The countermeasures set to come into effect 1 July 2018, will remain in place until the US eliminates its trade-restrictive measures against Canada, said a statement from Canada’s Department of Finance.