European Union counter-tariffs against USA come into effect on Friday - commission

The European Union on Friday will slap billions in additional tariffs on US exports in reaction to President TrumpDonald John TrumpConservatives express concern over House GOP immigration bill Poll: McSally holds 14-point lead in Arizona GOP Senate primary Trump defends Nielsen amid criticism over family separations MORE's steel and aluminum tariffs.

Donald Trump hit the EU, Canada and Mexico with tariffs of 25 percent on steel and 10 percent on aluminum at the start of June, ending exemptions that had been in place since March.

This report comes after the European Commission announced it approved initial retaliatory tariffs on US exports worth €2.8 billion ($3.2 billion).

The EU countermeasures cover a total of around 200 categories of USA products also including various types of corn, rice, orange juice, cigarettes, cigars, t-shirts, cosmetics, boats and steel.

Soon after the tariffs were first announced, the European Union had promised to retaliate with tariffs on a range of American products including things like blue jeans, bourbon, and motorcycles, if the tariffs were ever imposed on the EU.

"We did not want to be in this position".

Ms Malmstrom insisted the EU's measures were "measured, proportionate" and in line with World Trade Organisation rules.

If Washington refuses to back down, a further £3.1bn (€3.6bn) worth of tariffs is also being considered by the European Commission, she said.

Canada has announced it will impose retaliatory tariffs on C16.6 billion ($12.5 billion) worth of US exports from July 1.

The move confirms a tit-for-tat dispute that could escalate into a full trade war, particularly if U.S. President Donald Trump carries out his threat to penalize European cars.

The former reality TV star is fighting a trade war on multiple fronts, with China also promising swift retaliation after the United States threatened to impose levies on a further £151bn ($200bn) of Chinese goods.

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