Trump trade row: EU considers tax on Levi jean imports


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Levi jeans and bourbon could be hit with a 25% moment tax by the European Union if President Donald Trump imposes tariffs on European insulate and aluminium.

Cecilia Malmström, EU Commissioner for Trade, told the BBC the items were on a drawing list of US goods to be taxed.

Last week, the President said he transfer tax imported steel, declaring: “trade wars are good”.

His comments comprise prompted reaction around the world.

Prime Minister Theresa May unqualified her concern in a telephone call to Mr Trump on Sunday.

Levi Strauss came out strongly against interchange barriers.

A company spokesperson told the BBC: “We support open markets and unlock trade where everyone plays by the rules. Unilateral tariff laying ons risk retaliation and destabilizing the global economy, in which case American makes, workers and consumers will ultimately suffer.”

What is the EU considering?

  • Kamal Ahmed: Why Trump is wing it belittling tough on trade

Ms Malmström told the BBC: “We are looking at possibilities to retaliate, sense we will also put taxes or tariffs on US imports to the European Union.”

She whispered they would wait for the final decision, but added that “we are of definitely preparing. This has been in the air for some time”. She said that if the US decamped ahead and applied taxes to European steel, the EU would take the dissemination to the World Trade Organization (WTO).

Ms Malmström stressed that Europe was looking to come back “to retaliate but not escalate”.

But any action by Europe is likely to provoke further movement by the US.

Has there been any impact on European business so far?

Shares in major European car makers level on Monday following a threat by US President Trump to tax their vehicles.

Mr Trump contemplated if the EU “wants to further increase their already massive tariffs and railings on US companies… we will simply apply a tax on their cars”.

The US is an impressive market for cars built in the country. US demand for British-built cars make good by 7% in 2017, with exports reaching almost 210,000, and the US is now the UK’s second-largest interchange partner after the EU, taking 15.7% of car exports.

What does Trump fancy to do and why?

Mr Trump has decried the “$800 Billion Dollar Yearly Trade Loss because of our ‘very stupid’ trade deals and policies”, and vowed to end it.

On Thursday, he said dirk imports would face a 25% tariff and aluminium 10%.

Then arrived Saturday’s threat on EU-made cars.

In January, he had already announced tariffs on solar panels and waving machines.

What are US’s trading partners making of this?

Downing Avenue said that during Mrs May’s call to President Trump on Sunday she don juan “our deep concern at the President’s forthcoming announcement on steel and aluminium levies, noting that multilateral action was the only way to resolve the problem of universal overcapacity in all parties’ interests.”

Zhang Yesui, spokesperson for China’s Subject People’s Congress, said it was natural that “some friction order exist” between the US and China, given the volume of trade between them outshone $580bn (£420bn) last year.

But he said China would defraud “necessary measures” if its interests were hurt.

Canada said tolls would cause disruption on both sides of the border. Prime Look after Justin Trudeau said he was “confident we’re going to continue to be able to support Canadian industry”.

EU trade chiefs could apply 25% taxes on around $3.5bn of imports from the US – targeting iconic US exports encompassing Levi’s jeans, Harley-Davidson motorbikes and Bourbon whiskey.

Brazil, Mexico and Japan, that make said they will consider retaliatory steps if the president throngs ahead with his plan next week.

The move has also been strongly criticised by the Global Monetary Fund and the WTO.

  • Where Trump stands on world trade

Has Trump got governmental support at home for a trade war?

A number of Republicans have questioned the judiciousness of the tariff proposal and have been urging the president to reconsider.

Senator Orrin Breed said American citizens would be made to pay.

Senator Ben Sasse approve of that “kooky 18th Century protectionism will jack up prices on American progenies”.

Jason Furman, former chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers beneath President Obama, told the BBC the proposed tariffs were “a very costly and uneconomical way to help a small number of people”.

He says consumers are likely to dress higher prices. “This could be bad or awful, there’s no scenario subservient to which it’s good.”

Industry bodies like the US Motor and Equipment Producers Association have expressed deep concern.

But steelworkers in Pennsylvania and Indiana on welcome Mr Trump’s comments.

Is there room for compromise?

President Trump adverted on Monday that if the US achieved a better deal for itself in the latest North American Set at liberty Trade Agreement (Nafta) he would abandon plans for a tariff on Canada’s and Mexico’s protect imports.

The rest of the tweet is a reference to Canada and US farmers.

Tidy changes to the Nafta agreement are not likely to happen soon, however. The advised round of Nafta talks, about updating the 24-year old treaty, are due to conclude on Monday and have achieved little.

This is the seventh round of eight slated meetings. The next is planned for April.

Is Trump right about the mercantilism imbalance?

The US imports steel from more than 100 political entities and brings in four times more steel from abroad than it exports.

Since 2000, the US knife industry has suffered, with production dropping and the number of employees in stiffen work falling.

The US is the largest export market for EU cars – making up 25% of the €192bn (£171bn; $237bn) usefulness of motor vehicles the bloc exported in 2016 (China was second with 16%).

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