I expected the Trump regime wouldn't waste much time in imposing tariffs on European goods after the World Trade Organization (WTO) gave them the green light, but these tariffs are more significant than expected.
Trump is apparently skipping right over an introductory phase of small tariffs and imposing large tariffs of up to 25 percent beginning on October 18th.
Here's what Trump is imposing tariffs on via CNBC:
10% tariffs on aircraft from France, Germany, Spain or the United Kingdom
25% duties on single-malt Irish and Scotch whiskies, various garments and blankets from the U.K.
25% tariffs on coffee and certain tools and machinery from Germany
25% duties on various cheeses, olive oil and frozen meat from Germany, Spain and the U.K.
25% tariffs on certain pork products, butter and yogurt from multiple countries
There's nothing funny about this but I will say Trump's tariffs on goods made in the United Kingdom stand out to me given all the recent chatter about a post-Brexit trade deal with the United States.
The British economy is already on the brink of recession and Trump's tariffs on British goods will hit right before a potentially catastrophic departure from the European Union in a hard, no-deal Brexit. Hypothetical trade talks between Britain and the United States will now have to untangle the messy matter of Trump's trade war on greater Europe before a trade deal can even be discussed.
But that's the point, isn't it? This is Trump's leverage.
Did Boris Johnson see this coming?
If you were planning to buy imported whiskey in the near future, you may want to do so sooner rather than later.