The European Commissioner for trade, Cecilia Malmstrom has warned the EU that President Trump is set to hit them with sanctions.
Malmstrom has warned the EU to be prepared for multibillion dollar tariffs on imports that could affect products such as cheese, olives, whisky and the EU need to “brace” themselves.
An EU diplomat was reported as saying, according to Politico, “There is a big probability that the US will apply these tariffs as soon as the WTO arbitrator has ruled. It is what the US administration likes.”
In July Trump wrote on Twitter, “The World Trade Organisation finds that the European Union subsidies to Airbus has adversely impacted the United States, which will now put tariffs on $11 billion of EU products.
“The EU has taken advantage of the US on trade for many years. It will soon stop.”
The Office of the US Trade spokesperson said, “It is out hope and exception that the additional duties, if needed, will provide an incentive for the EU, once and for all, to stop subsiding Airbus in ways that have adverse effects on the United States.”
In May 2018 Trump imposed a 25% tariff on EU steel and 10% on aluminium exports, the EU then hit back with imposed steel limits on imports.
If Trump does follow through with imposing duties on automotive parts and vehicles, Malmstrom has said she will impose €39bn on retaliatory tariffs on the US.
In September tensions could get worse as the World Trade Organisation will address the level of trade sanctions the US can impose over the EU.
Fredrik Erixon, director of the think tank ECIPE, said that the US and EU economies are slowing, and the “cyclical effect of the tariffs is likely to be pretty strong.”