Trade

Trump Will Impose Large Tariffs on European Goods

JM Ashby
Written by JM Ashby

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.

  • 1933john

    Well, I guess I’ll go back to drinking Safeway watt-ka.

  • muselet

    U.S. officials contend the EU has “no basis” to retaliate against the planned duties.

    If those anonymous US officials truly believe that, they’re idiots at best.

    Reacting to the WTO decision earlier, European Commissioner for Trade Cecilia Malmstrom said new U.S. tariffs would be “short-sighted and counterproductive.” She left the door open to the EU levying retaliatory duties.

    It’s hard to imagine the EU not imposing new tariffs. Not retaliating would be an open invitation to increase tariffs again.

    I was struck by the presence of UK products on that list, too. If everything goes Boris Johnson’s way, the UK will leave the EU in four weeks, so why apply tariffs to … oh.

    Donald Trump believes this is a good opportunity to try to screw over the UK the way he’s been trying to screw over the rest of the world. So much for that “special relationship.”

    Did Boris Johnson see this coming?

    I’ll say no. Call it a hunch.

    –alopecia

  • gescove

    I simply have no idea what the point of these tariffs is. All the countries involved will continue to subsidize their aerospace industries. It’s the nature of the military-industrial complex beast, which just happens to have the handy by-product of passenger aircraft. Boeing is losing more business due to their failed roll-out of the 737 Max than any loss they suffered at the hands of Airbus. Remind me again how the EU coerced Boeing into cutting corners on the airplane’s safety systems, lean on the FAA to relax crew training requirements, and hush up early warnings about air worthiness? What exactly will a tax on whiskey do to accomplish anything?

    • Tony Lavely

      What exactly will a tax on whiskey do to accomplish anything?
      Make it more expensive to earn a DUI, so maybe traffic safety’s a goal.

      • gescove

        Ha! Hadn’t thought of that!