European Union retaliatory tariffs to hit United States products on Friday

US President Donald Trump speaks with the press | Mandel Ngan  AFP via Getty Images

US President Donald Trump speaks with the press | Mandel Ngan AFP via Getty Images

The European Commission in Brussels gave final approval for a 25 per cent duty on 2.8 billion euros (US$3.2 billion) of EU imports of a range of USA products including Harley-Davidson Inc. motorcycles, Levi Strauss & Co. jeans and bourbon whiskey.

A raft of retaliatory tariffs from the European Union against stiff metals duties imposed by US President Donald Trump will come into effect on Friday, a top EU official said.

"We do not want to be in this position", EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom said in a statement, adding that the "unilateral and unjustified" USA decision had left the EU with no choice.

The Europeans reportedly also want a 25% US tax on imports of light trucks-pickup trucks, sport-utility vehicles, and big vans-scrapped.

The new duties also include other categories of imported goods including various types of corn, rice, orange juice, cigarettes, cigars, T-shirts, cosmetics, boats, and steel, Bloomberg notes.

Ms Malmstrom said: "We did not want to be in this position".

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A separate 10 percent tariff will be imposed on imports of playing cards.

He said a global solution is need to stop China from shipping its steel through other countries to get around tariffs that the United States has already put into place.

In March, Trump made a decision to hit importers with a tariff of 25 percent on steel and 10 percent on aluminum.

What tariffs is the European Union imposing?

Canada also promised retaliatory tariffs worth $12.8bn on U.S. products including steel, aluminium, whiskey and orange juice.

If the plan were accepted, it would mean scrapping the EU's 10 percent tax on vehicle and auto imports from the USA and other nations and the US dropping the 2.5 percent duty it puts on similar imports from the EU.

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